August 25, 2013

Letters to the editor: State needs to welcome the young

With respect to "The Challenge of Our Age" Special Report series, I can clearly remember growing up in the '70s in Camden and listening to residents talking about ways to discourage "outsiders" as they would make too many changes to the state.

Too many young people leaving the state every year may be one result of an unwillingness to welcome outside companies and younger people with new ideas.

Challenge your political leaders to create community college extensions that feed rural educated kids into vocational degrees and four-year college degrees. Help young people in high school visualize how they can become lifelong citizens through decent employment opportunities after vocational training or college graduation.

Also, consider the immigration issue and how young minorities can learn about Maine through outreach campaigns as a state they would like to work and raise their families. The minorities are intelligent and very hard working and would benefit Maine in many ways by their presence over the decades.

Sharon Thomas

Tucson, Ariz.

Death of family's pet dog still felt nine years later

North Cairn's article on the death of her dog ("Each dawn a step nearer to healing," Aug. 18) brought tears to my eyes, recalling the awful sadness experienced over nine years ago when our sweet, goofy yellow Lab, Lola, died. The grief of losing a dog cuts so deeply into the heart because they are with us nearly all the time, depend on us, trust and love us. I still cry when I think of her.

Cairn's trek into quiet and solitude sounds like a good first step as she mourns and remembers her beloved companion.

Barbara Doughty

Portland

Art reviewer shares blame for expecting explanations

Daniel Kany's "Paintings from the melting pot by the great David Driskell" (Maine Sunday Telegram, Audience, Aug. 18) begins by asking rhetorically: "How much conscious control does an artist have over the content of his work?" Kany suggests: "Artists, especially blossoming professionals, inevitably overstate their control of their work's content," and goes on to blame the public who "... must share the blame for this because we pressure artists to speak with authority about their work."

After reading Mr. Kany's intellectually and academically lofty review of the content in David Driskell's current exhibit at Greenhut Galleries, I cannot help thinking that art critics like Daniel Kany are as much to blame as the public for expecting artists "to speak with authority about their work." 

Ironically, Kany writes with such omniscient authority, as if he can read Driskell's mind, about the alleged creative inspiration behind his paintings that, if I were David Driskell, I, as the artist, would feel compelled to speak out with authority about the content of my own art as I am the artist who painted it, not Daniel Kany. 

While Kany avows, "We don't after all, look at paintings to be lectured, but to flex our visual intelligence and aesthetic sensibilities," his review paradoxically does just that: it lectures me about what I should see and understand without affording me the aesthetic and intellectual freedom to appreciate Mr Driskell's art, which I assuredly do, with subjectivity.

Also, instead of pedagogically averring that Georges Rouault had a distinctive influence on the work of David Driskell, why not recommend that a visit to PMA and the MoMA Paley collection could suggest some interesting parallels between the two painters' visions.  Leave it to the eyes of the beholder.

Albert H. Black

Kennebunk 

Benefits of smart meters pale next to one's health

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