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East End Artists Sound Off About Value of Art in Childhood

“Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

Celebrating artists on the cover of Dan’s Papers is a long-standing tradition that is as much a part of the East End as the surf, sunsets and spectacular vistas that have inspired so many of the works we have showcased—as well as 60 Summers: Celebrating Six Iconic Decades on the East End, the limited-edition coffee table book we published to kick off 2019.

Here in our 60 Summers year, a new tradition for Dan’s Papers has emerged from the spirit behind all the artists and artwork that make the East End such a cradle of creativity. The first April issue of the year will celebrate young artists, shining a light on the importance of nurturing the creative vision that is waiting to bloom inside all children. This week’s cover art by Stella captures the joy and wonder of the world as seen through the eyes of a young artist, imbued with a passion and sense of imagination that, when they were kids, inspired every one of the 1,500 or so artists who have graced a Dan’s Papers cover over the decades.

April 5, 2019 Dan's Papers cover art by Stella Burns
April 5, 2019 Dan’s Papers cover art by Stella Burns

“I always thought that kids should make art and learn to draw as a child is taught to write a paragraph. Drawing is describing your world as is writing. Both should be important.”Mickey Paraskevas

“The recent proposals of budget cuts in children’s education and the arts is a giant step back into the dark ages! The momentum of creation gets funneled through the imaginations of our children if we allow such. Importantly, the tone of our times, its melody, sets into motion its balancing equivalent, a spark of new bright ideas that would only benefit in the long run. The melody of art would reverberate and excite the senses out of their lethargy of inactivity literally reviving a dying civilization! Art for children for the future is the greatest investment that should never be cut from the budgeting table. Evidence of that would be stopping still and dropping activity to marvel at a sudden appearance of a rainbow after a storm.”Charles Wildbank

“Art for children is crucially important for many reasons, particularly for the ability to find a means of self-expression at an early age. Giving kids a way to express their boundless imagination spurs and fosters further creativity, both in their childhood years and hopefully as an ongoing ability into adulthood.”Michele Dragonetti

“Art gives the child a mental road to use his/her imagination. Especially in today’s in-your-face world, to have a child invent something on their own, create a visual world from its own mind, can only be positive. Children have to be able to explore, using their own free imagination to explore, and then put it down on paper. Art. Like a bumper sticker I actually saw today which I loved: ‘Without ART…there is no eARTh.’”Mike Stanko

“The importance of kids making art is to find out about themselves. Making art at a young age will dig deep into their creative thoughts and talent with no peer pressure to interrupt their freedom to create. It may be for them to continue, or not. For me, I found out at a young age my calling to create. But it had to come full circle for me to make it my career.”Daniel Pollera

“When I was a child, I was fascinated by the illustrations done by my uncle for children’s books written by my father. I remember studying every mark on the page to see how they all came together to make a picture. I wanted to do that. And now I do!”Patricia Feiler

“I’m deeply appreciative of the fact that my parents encouraged my interest in art from a very young age. It helped me build a rich inner life, self-reliance and a perspective of my own. These are all things necessary to being a critical thinker, which our extrinsically motivated culture desperately needs more of these days.”Jess Frost

“I was in elementary school, and there was a contest to draw a picture for fighting fire. I drew a big cloud of smoke with two bare feet sticking out and wrote underneath: “Don’t smoke in bed!” I won! And received a letter from then-President Jimmy Carter.”Carol Luz

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