Don Tate: Hunting For Artists Behind Bars

Illustrator Don Tate recently published an inspring essay in the Austin-American Statesman about visiting a group of incarcerated young men. For those of us who speak often to kids and teens, the clarity of Don's purpose statement is an inspiration:

When I present to groups of kids, I'm on the lookout for young artists, especially males who might not realize art as a career choice. I seek to encourage them, to serve as a model. I want them to see a hard-working, successful man, using his talents beyond the basketball court or the football field. Most times, I don't have to look far. Once I start drawing, the spirit of every artist in the room lights up.

If you were asked to talk about your life and work with a group of young people, could you sum up your own intentions equally clearly? Try commandeering Don's words and filling in the blanks for yourself:
When I present to groups of kids, I'm on the lookout for ____________________, especially _______________________________. I seek to encourage them, to serve as a model. I want them to see _________________________________________________.

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