An excerpt from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Spring 2017…
I just feel the need to write about something that happened here at the museum of fine arts in Boston. I didn’t have a plan or an interest to see a particular art piece or painting of the day, but when we entered the museum, I noticed the ducklings exhibit: Make Way for Ducklings, the art of Robert McCloskey.
What drew me to the exhibit? The ducklings of Boston! This was such an iconic memorable symbol of the city from my early childhood when I would visit Boston commons with my Godmother Lisa. These were always special times and often surrounded with love, warmth, springtime, specialness – just strong positive memories of my past… I also have another less romantic memory of reading a book from my childhood that had to do with ducklings being slaves on a Chinese boat. They would get whacked and one didn’t make it back to the boat one night… The story about Ping – anyway these are thought remnants that drew me to this exhibit.
And, as it was, I discovered the right story at the right time too! This artist who studied art in Boston and NY was finding it difficult to make a living as a painter. After consulting with a friend, McCloskey decided to try his hand at illustration and writing children’s books. His first book was about the ducklings in Boston and what brought me to actual tears was his commitment to this new found venture. A friend had advised that since McCloskey didn’t have enough experience with ducks, he should spend more time studying them and being around them. That way he could portray the family characters in the story more accurately!
So what did McCloskey do? He went out and bought 16 ducklings and lived and studied them for 2 years in a an apartment in NYC!!! Talk about commitment and dedication to something he believed in! I’m certain his family and friends thought this was nuts… and you know what? Today, he’s a featured artist in the MFA where people marvel at his work.
I can so relate with McCloskey… My journey to do missions from 3,000+ away in a dangerous country and start a transition home orphaned teens is pretty outrageous, not always understood, a bit nuts… And, chances are my work will never be displayed in a museum, but its something I’m committed to and I fully believe can change lives into history.
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