A Thousand Artists Presents: Artist Andrew Purchin to Invite 1000 People to Make Art at the Presidential Inauguration; First Stop: the Conventions

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Andrew Purchin will make art at both the Republican National Convention (RNC) and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) as part of his campaign to enlist an army of artists a thousand strong to make art at the 2013 presidential inauguration.

photo by Scotty Brookie

Andrew Purchin paints at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration

Art making is not entertainment. It is a substantive way of learning about our world... Art-making acts as an incubator for new ideas. Art-making teaches us skills we cannot do without.

Instead of taking pictures with his cell phone or reading the play-by-play on a political blog, painter and conceptual artist Andrew Purchin will make art at both political conventions this year. In celebration of the importance of art-making and in the spirit of bipartisanship, Purchin wants you (and everyone you know) to join him.

While at the conventions on August 27, 2012 August 28, 2012 August 29, 2012 and September 2 2012, September 3, 2012 September 4, 2012 September 5, 2012 and September 6, 2012, Purchin will engage people in conversations about the power of art-making and will invite legions of people to participate in the “main event,” a public art-making installation, A Thousand Artists, at the next presidential inauguration on January 21, 2013.

Purchin will be setting up his easel and painting as close to the conventions as he can get. He will work on four canvases. One will be created at the RNC and another at the DNC. Purchin will paint the gestures of both the Republicans and the Democrats from both conventions on the other two canvasses.

Campaigning for the Making of Art Everywhere

“Most people are told they are bad at making art when they are young kids and most people give up,” says Purchin. “Art making is not entertainment. It is a substantive way of learning about our world.” He cites an alarming trend: since 1990, scores measuring the creativity of American children have declined annually (“Creativity Crisis,” Newsweek, August 2010).

“The practice of making art increases receptivity, empathy, and innovation,” explains Purchin. “It cultivates in us a greater appreciation of nuance and it brings people together. Art-making acts as an incubator for new ideas. Art-making teaches us skills we cannot do without.”

A Thousand Artists demonstrates the power of art-making, with no partisan political motivation. It makes statement for art, and its importance to democracy, communication, and community.

The Making of Art is the Ultimate Democracy
On Monday, January 21, 2013 the presidential inauguration will take place in Washington D.C. and amidst the crowd there will be legions of people in white jump suits and orange hats quietly making art, no matter who is president and no matter what the weather is.

These thousand-plus artists will be focused on responding to the moment. They will simply be present: reflecting, innovating and creating.
“When multitudes of people create art in public they attract even more people to make art,” says Purchin. “The more people are engaged in making, the more they become active, creative, and engaged citizens.”

Regardless of who you cast your ballot for on November 6th, go to athousandartists.com to register to make art on January 21st. Let’s see if we can’t create that more perfect union.

Andrew Purchin, an artist and psychotherapist (LCSW) in private practice in Santa Cruz, California, envisioned this installation of A Thousand Artists when he created a painting in the middle of the crowds and the cold at the inauguration of President Obama in 2009. He is a tireless campaigner for art.

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