Art intimidating life non validating environment

So much evidence points to art's importance in a child's development - and not just in the development of abstract thought.

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© 2012 Mario Naves Originally published in the March 7, 2012 edition of is a sad experience not least because its trajectory is clear, cruel and swift.

No, I’m not talking about the awful inevitability of the “Alzheimer’s Pictures”: those pallid rehashes of de Kooning’s glory phase (see photo above) orchestrated by his dealer Xavier Fourcade, his estranged wife Elaine de Kooning and myriad assistants–by everyone, in fact, but the artist himself.

Whenever education budgets get tightened, art programs are the first to get cut.

Like the enduring popularity of reality TV, this never ceases to amaze me.

If art means as much to you as it does to me, or even if you're just exploring the art world for the first time, I invite you to turn off the boob tube, pry the Wii controllers from your kids' hands, and drag them to a museum.

You may be surprised to learn that many museums have weekend activities geared to families, and almost all museums now have or are planning hands-on exhibits and playrooms specifically geared towards their younger visitors, which help to enrich the museum-going experience.

According to First Lady Michelle Obama, "Learning through the arts reinforces critical academic skills in reading, language arts, and math, and provides students with the skills to creatively solve problems." So, how is it that, when it comes to art education, California comes in dead last out of all 50 states - even below Guam?

According to State Councilman Bobby Shriver, California's public schools no longer even offer arts education.

She’s made a substantial career assuming an array of divergent identities, among them B-movie ingénue, corpse, biker chick, fashionista, fairy tale princess, Upper East Side dowager, pinup girl and, in a recent work, an Icelandic Norma Desmond.

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