Speaker:: Dennis Fehr
Main Talk: Race and Class in the History of Art
Musician: Jan Seides
Dennis became fascinated with drawing when he was able to see over the armrest of his father's easy chair. He watched with awe as images of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck emerged from the point of his pencil. Their Mechanized Amish community discouraged his dad from pursuing an art career, and he acquiesced. Dennis too was discouraged but he rebelled, and what a career that has given him. He makes art, and teaches others to make it. He has shown kindergarteners how to make green from blue and yellow, and he’s chaired Ph.D. dissertation committees. Dennis has taught jail inmates how to draw. He has consulted for foreign governments and the US Department of Education. He has published three books. Dennis has taught art, lectured about art, and made art in 19 countries. His work is in collections in six countries and several US states. Presently Dennis teaches art and economics at the Fusion Academy in Houston, Texas.
Dennis’s father exhibited only one artwork in his lifetime. He was 88 when he entered a painting in his retirement center's annual crafts show. It fetched $200. He painted sitting on a folding chair at a card table set up in a closet. He bought his canvases at discount stores and found his frames at garage sales. Dennis works in a studio with a spacious drafting table, comfortable desk, art library, power tools, computer and printer, and large storage cabinets and shelves. Dennis’s art looks nothing like his fathers, and yet when he is working, he feels his fathers hand on his. Dennis wonders what kind of studio his father would have had if he had chosen to rebel.
Jan Seides (sigh-deez) has been a singer/songwriter as long as she can remember. She’s been playing piano since she was 3 years old, guitar since she was a teenager, and she can’t ever recall not singing. Jan writes and performs original, lyrics-driven, award-winning songs that combine uptown sophistication with down-home truth. They have been presented with style and spirit in prestigious venues in the U.S., the Middle East and Europe.
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