"The work of childhood is play and this is the foundation of creativity."
Artist Jane Hammond on the childhood activities formed the foundation of her identity as an artist.
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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 Jane Hammond.
Jane as a young artist
Do you have a favorite memory of making artwork as a child?
Many of my childhood activities formed the foundation of my identity as an artist, even though some of those activities didn’t immediately look like art. Or maybe one could say they looked more like contemporary art than traditional art.
When I was about ten I got a bunch of string and went into the woods and outlined a square of about 30 feet in each dimension. I had a ruler, a pencil, a magnifying glass, and a notebook I had made with paper and a stapler. I gave myself the job of identifying everything I could find within this grid and recording it in the notebook. There were lists of bugs and worms and ferns and trees and leaves. The goal was to inventory what was there and kind of dive into it.
I don’t remember making anything inside the grid. Though I have a strong memory of another time collecting milkweed pods with a bit of their attached stem, painting the pods to look like birds and the stems to be their beaks. I filled pails with water and positioned them to be drinking in a circle.
I think that the work of childhood is play and this is the foundation of creativity.