Art and Literature

Entries about creativity in all its forms, plus original creative material.

Poetry night at the Austin Baha'i Centre

A poetry session at the Austin Baha'i Centre.

"The Baha'i Centre had to be one of the most depressing gigs on the tour. It seemed that Austin was a liberal, even cultural, city, but that didn't stop the Bahaian flock from loving their sport."

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The Seeker

A surrealist, collaborative effort of the Shoreham Youth Group.

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A Dress for Mona - trailer

A country in revolution... A holy place in ruins... A dream of three dresses... 16-year old Mona is discovering the true meaning of love. A play by Mark Perry, The Drama Circle Performance, April 2003.

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Artist takes spiritual approach


Barbara Curry in her home studio

Peters woman finds inspiration in Baha'i faith

Barbara Curry started her professional career as a commercial artist after attending Ferris State University. But in 1985, when her older son, Ryan, was born, she underwent a period of soul-searching that not only changed her art but also her life.

"Soon after Ryan was born, I decided that I'd be a good mother and change some of my more irresponsible ways," said Mrs. Curry, of Peters.

That led to an outlook on life that translated to a more spiritual approach to her painting and the selection of subjects for her artwork.

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The enduring, artistic vision of Miss Whittaker


Juliette Whittaker

The problem with schools, Juliette Whittaker said almost 30 years ago, "is that nobody has thought about defining what a human being is."

She was one of several panelists discussing seemingly unrelated topics - art and crime - during a forum at Lakeview Museum in 1979. If studies show art is an effective crime-prevention tool, panelists pondered, then why isn't there more art?

Their main topic was the declining role of arts programs in public school curriculums. But Juliette Whittaker, being Juliette Whittaker, stretched boundaries and notions about exactly what it means to marginalize the arts.

{josquote}Of course, she pioneered Carver Community Center's drama department in 1949. There, she mentored a young, annoying troublemaker named Richard Pryor, who later gave her his first Emmy award.{/josquote}

"When you take arts out of the curriculum, you tell students they're material and not human," she continued. "To become human, you've got to think, to create. The arts say 'I am,' and the schools are telling them they are not."

. . .

Her vision stemmed from her faith. She was the public face of the local Baha'i Faith for many years and she used that role to spread Baha'i teachings on the equality of men and women and the unity of the world's religions and races.

She had vision and she used it, like she used art and education, to teach far more than math, English and science. She shaped generations of young minds in what it means to be human.

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