About Dan Curry

Artistic Statement:

I grew up in the St. Louis area during the 50’s and 60’s, was drafted into the army in 1970 and met my wife, Donna in Philadelphia in 1971. Donna noticed my casual interest in art and her encouragement was important in my decision to pursue training at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1973-77. We moved to Sullivan Co. in 1977 where we built our home and life on Ringer hill.  My art and landscapes, in particular, have grown out of the richness of my life with my family here in NE PA.

I enjoy my attempts capturing the fleeting light during my frequent "plein-air" experiences. I enjoy the contrast of simple geometric buildings or other man made objects placed in the complexity and irregularity of Nature.  To me this is a symbol of the sometimes noble but awkward attempts by man to redefine a world of his own that will elevate his condition of living. With the natural world as a muse it is most often apparent how we clutter it with our irrelevant aims to improve something that is already a sample of perfection. There should always be a message with an artistic venture and I hope mine will be to find a humble and harmless means of living in this paradise of beauty that our creator has given to us. As we move forward seeking to find our special niche in this beautiful creation let me please ask you to ponder what your legacy will provide to each of our children and grandchildren? Will it be, how can we get our share of the pie (at any expense) or can we give back to the creation so that our children will enjoy a future of bountiful harvest? I am a lover of nature and the people that inhabit it with a respect and reverence (such as many of our native cultures) We are a bit lost now with all of our “gadgets and improvements” and I appeal to those with the trueness of heart to return our aims to a really noble effort – not to save the planet (it will recover) but to save humanity, integrity and a sense of harmonious living in tune with this beautiful paradise that our creator has provided to us.

I enjoy the exchange of inspiration as a teacher. My work with students is an important sharing process that I can use in combination with my own production of images. I hope to steer and be a part of the effort that will erode the stubborn and indifferent mindset that holds back our spiritual maturity. I believe that the spiritual capacity in each of us often remains dormant under the surface. Arts enrichment is a viable and direct connection to this capacity.  The reluctance or indifference by our society to provide accessibility to arts enrichment for educational value reveals a lack of understanding.. We should apply and integrate arts in its wide variety of forms into the education process. This should be done not necessarily to create more artists but to help all students access inspiration, built-in wisdom/individual insights and sensitivity. This should be a basic expectation for human development. We can begin with all of our children at the earliest age to help them get connected with their innate wisdom and capacities. We owe it to our children so they can show us how to change the world for the better if we will only help them.

Through my painting experiences I have developed a deep appreciation for the harmonious balance found in our natural world. It has become our challenge to adapt to the role of responsible caretakers of our home. Education is of vital importance to steer our priorities and development of improvements in our systems and technology. The vitality of a learning environment is creativity and imagination. I like Einstein's perception that "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Can we imagine living in harmony with our natural world and begin to create the ideas that will elevate and clean up our systems and use of technology?  In nature we have a model of perfection for harmony and balance that I aspire to capture in my art.  I believe that it is this harmony and balance that is viable when connected to other areas of learning and living. Through a reordering of priorities putting ethics and morality in charge, we can capture these dynamics and integrate them into our systems.  This will be difficult or impossible without the fresh optimism of a new generation of connected creative thinkers.

During 2001 I joined my students and other artists in an international exhibit entitled “Breaking the Walls of Prejudice, Bias and Stigma.” My silk painting entitled “Spiritual Poverty” was my contribution to this exhibit. I have included the silk painting that was viewed in the United Nations buildings in New York and Durban, South Africa. The show was exhibited during the World Conference against Racism held in Durban during August and September of 2001. The collection of about 20 banners returned to NY City on September 11th just prior to the attack on the World Trade Center.

I will include an excerpt from a statement that accompanied the banner in the exhibit.
 
“As an artist I attempt to view the scene with the awe and freshness of a child.  I see the infinite complexity and beauty in nature as contrasted with the mechanical and indifferent geometry that man has fabricated as an intruder in the ornate natural world. Our technological advances are a trifle in comparison to our creator’s work. Our arrogance and indifference to the laws of the natural system will lead us further into discord and futility, but our humbleness will lead us toward harmony and progress. As pessimists, we are already doomed by the lack of faith in human capacity.  As optimists we will take steps forward and seek the resolve of a spiritual awakening and human metamorphosis. Our society remains in the caterpillar stage of development and needs the spiritual transformation to reach a new definition for progress and well being. Our emphasis on materialism reflects our spiritual poverty. Our actions show how our priorities reflect disconnection with nature and the creator. It requires mindlessness and emptiness to continue to lie spoils to the world that we will pass onto our children. We can re-define progress now if we want or can we wait until the urgency defines it for us? “

Top photo: Red Rock student group seen in front of their art in UN New York City in 2001

Bottom image is my silk banner titled "Spiritual Poverty"