The Art of Caring

“But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Terry Martin and his new friends display the flowers resulting from an art therapy session in 2011. (Photo by Maddie Meyer)

Terry Martin and his new friends display the flowers resulting from an art therapy session in 2011. (Photo by Maddie Meyer)

Much has been said when looking at art. Theophile Gautier in the 19th century has been credited with the phrase: “Art for Art’s Sake”. Opponents and supporters have used this phrase for more than a hundred years to nullify or justify art movements. George Sand wrote in 1872 that the sentence was idle and that “artists had a duty to find an adequate expression to convey art to as many souls as possible”.

Terry Martin, NOAPS Signature Artist, might have solved the puzzle by taking “Art for its Sake”, but at the same time conveying it to as many souls as possible. The phrase “The Art of Caring” better describes Terry Martin and it was used as the title of an article by Kelsi Lietzow in the Hoot Magazine, William Woods University.

Here are adapted excerpts from that article.

Terry Martin is one of the best known and warmhearted professors at William Woods University. He has earned several awards not only for his art but also for his dedication to teaching, including the Louis D. Beaumont Dad’s Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He holds two Master’s degrees, Education and Fine Arts. His biography includes award winning artist, art director, commercial artist, illustrator, art teacher, university professor, first president of the Missouri Society of Wildlife Artists and many more activities; however, what is most important about him is his caring for other people through the creative process of art. Terry together with his students has been involved in many projects that take the creativity of art beyond the viewing and into the caring for others. Here are a few of the projects:

1. Art therapy for children through Dream Factory, a national volunteer organization that works to fulfill dreams of critically and chronically ill children ages 3-18

2. Greeting cards for deployed soldiers to send to their loved ones

3. Art therapy activities for Joplin residents after a tornado ravaged their community

4. Therapeutic paintings to brighten the walls of SERVE, a local agency for the underserved

5. Paintings to bring color and life to the examination rooms of St. Mary’s Creektrail Clinics in Jefferson City

6. The creation of memory boxes with cancer patients at St. John’s Mercy Hospital in St. Louis

7. Posters for Fulton State Hospital’s cultural awareness program that were hung throughout the hospital to remind people of group differences and individuality

8. Art created from recycled materials and donated to the Missouri Coalition for the Environment and the City Museum for their fundraiser.
9. Work to increase the creativity of residents of the Rosa Parks Center, a treatment group home for young women.

At one time, Martin said: “Our goal is to witness the creation of a large work of art by a large group of people and, in the process, celebrate art, creativity and the changing seasons.”

As if all this wasn’t enough, Terry Martin is currently working on a book for his grandson, Samuel. The book is a collection of stories and one of them, Story Three , “Ever So Faintly I See” has been selected for a film competition!

A caring soul, an artist, a professor, a writer, may be in a film, and did I forget to mention, an avid fisherman.

To learn more about Terry access his book project: Out of the Mouth of the First Fish, Stories for Samuel

Painting by Terry Martin

Excerpt from Story Three
Ever So Faintly I See

“One morning on my way to Mark Twain Lake, I saw a sunrise and remembered a friend I made many years ago. He cannot see the sunrise, because he is blind, but he helped me see with my heart and was the reason I began writing!”

“A few such engagements later, he discovered that I was an artist. He desired to visualize my paintings.  It was his desire that motivated me to find a way to make his wish come true and I found sharing our creativity with others can be a matter of spirit. I learned I could use words, to describe lines, shapes and colors, and thereby see with him by our hearts.”

Note: This post was adapted and written by Hebe Brooks from an article by Kelsi Lietzow, The Hoot, WWU, February 2013.

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2 Responses to The Art of Caring

  1. Tania says:

    Hi there, I read your blogs on a regular basis. Your story-telling style is
    awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

  2. Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this web site on a regular basis, this web site is in fact pleasant and the viewers are in fact sharing pleasant thoughts.

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