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In the Shadow of Blackbirds
Cat Winters
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
Timothy Egan

Before They Were Famous: How Seven Artists Got Their Start (Bob Raczka's Art Adventures)

Before They Were Famous: How Seven Artists Got Their Start (Bob Raczka's Art Adventures) - Bob Raczka I really like this book. It's a great tool to show how creativity in art can manifest itself in life from a very early age. Bob Raczka takes the lives of seven artists, and tells a little bit about their lives. He shows how, even as children, their talent was evident and what steps their families took to nurture their interest in art, whether it was apprenticing with a teacher or parent, or providing tools, books or materials with which to experiment, or travel, or visit museums to study other artist's works. He shows a very early work of each artist at a young age, which are marvels, and then subsequent work from the artist as a teen and then again as a mature artist. This angle is a excellent tool for examining how styles develop and grow through not just one artist, but through each one of them.The artists chosen are an interesting mix of some well-known and other not so popular, but all make interesting original contributions to the art world. The underlying theme here is originality, because to become a famous artist, one must develop one's own unique style, or vision. Each artist goes about developing their talent in a similarly structured way, but ultimately finds their own niche in the art world, be it a technique, perspective or ability. Young readers will easily identify with these artists as children and the work they create. It is also valuable to note the importance of cultivating an environment to nurture young art students, whether it is a good teacher, having a place set aside for creating art, going to art school or taking art classes, or having access to art in books and museums. Highly recommended.