When I heard this quote from John Bunyan, I immediately thought of my good friend and colleague, Art Siegel, whom I would like to nominate for your entry of “Today’s Honoree.” Both his professional and personal work with charities makes him an ideal candidate for the spotlight that your blog shines upon deserving nominees.
There is a reputation that follows around many artists, that they are often reclusive, unsociable, and confined to their studios. However, Art Siegel could not be further from this stigma. His consistent dedication to helping others through his volunteer work with the non-profit group Youth Activity Center (YAC) has gained him passionate fans without them stepping foot into a museum-his passion for the arts, in general, is what he uses to fuel his volunteer work with the children of the YAC.
Unfortunately, South Florida sees the downfall of many youths from single-parent and low-income families. More often than not, these adolescents are not provided with the necessary positive reinforcement and influence to succeed in their schooling and beyond. These young adults can get left behind by the system and are then forced to fend for themselves in the real world.
No helping hand is too weak, and Art Siegel knows this. When he decided to use his passion for art and design to work with the YAC to participate in after school and summer programs that allow him to spread his love of the arts, he realized that he was opening a new chapter in his post-retirement years. Unlike other programs, the YAC keeps in mind the budget of participating families and does not let their income prevent their children from having access to the things that many of us take for granted.
Art Siegel is a hero-sometimes it’s just as simple as that. And for Art to receive recognition through your blog would be a gift of unmatchable proportions. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Art Siegel began his career in Public Television , creating scenery and lighting for dramatic productions. He was also Production Manager on the Mr. Rogers program for several years. “In television, even more so than in theater, scenery needs to provide a convincing context for the action. In the closest close-ups and from all angles, the audience needs to feel that the action is occurring in a real place. Whether that reality is inside a courtroom, in front of a fantasy castle, or in John Adams’ period home, everything that appears on the screen must serve as credible context for the story.”
After a long subsequent career in sales, marketing and advertising, Siegel continues this same philosophy in the creation of his Kinetic Vistas (r) artworks. All of his major pieces integrate two elements. First are the photographs. Each presents groups of people moving and interacting, usually in a big-city setting such as New York or Milan or Boston. He approaches these images as a photojournalist, capturing spontaneous scenes of active metropolitan life. We don’t know the characters in these scenes, yet we sense the story that is being told by their expressions, body language and interactions.
Then, drawing upon his television scenery background, he integrates physical architectural elements into the work – hand crafted from wood and metal and plastic and other materials to create a scenery-like realistic context for the photography. So a panoramic photograph inside a subway station contains simulated iron girders and textured platform surfaces. A view of people in the Musee D’Orsay is framed in architectural elements evoking the museum’s roots as an 1890’s Paris railway station. Some of his newest pieces employ multiple layered photographs to convey a 3D sense of actually being there; as the viewer moves her head, additional elements are revealed.
Visit Art Siegel for more information.