"Exposure to art at early ages is key to developing the creative spirit."
Artist Michele D'Ermo on creating color through fingerpainting and growing up next to the National Zoo.
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Great artists make artists. And to prove that point, over 70 of today's greatest have contributed their work in support of Children's Museum of the Arts' Emergency Arts Education Fund, establishing utterly ambitious art programs in New York City schools that need them most.
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Below, meet auction artist Michele D'Ermo.
Do you have a favorite memory of making art as a child?
My favorite memory was fingerpainting and seeing how all colors were made when I would create a rainbow. It gave me an appreciation for the freedom of my hands to move paint around and create all the colors at the same time.
What advice would you give to young artists who wish to pursue an art practice?
Following your dream to create is paramount if you want to be an artist. Most of the time we make beautiful things as artists, but sometimes we reflect on what is difficult in the world as well. Art allows for the expression of emotions. Emotional expression is key to being an artist and this develops as we are exposed to visual ideas and other people's work.
How does working with children inspire you?
Children have an innocence to them that allows for a great deal of personal freedom. You often lose this as you get older and develop more inhibitions.
Can you describe a formative experience visiting a museum or gallery?
Exposure to art at early ages is key to developing the creative spirit. I grew up in Washington, DC near the National Zoo, so I was exposed to a lot of art from the national museums and the wild animals that I heard all night long on my porch. Being around art and nature helped form my creative energy. Now, I paint atmospheric seascapes and landscapes because I feel nature is the “art of the gods” as Dante famously stated.
oil on linen