Local Artist and Teacher Marilyn Leuszler beams with pride as she talks about her recent experience with Fresh Artists.
Fresh Artists is an organization headquartered in Philadelphia that brings art training to under-served populations, has student work hanging in government buildings throughout the nation, and also installs large-scale reproductions of children's art in unexpected places: in the board rooms of Fortune 100 companies and on the sides of city buses. Working closely with Fresh Artists for many years, Marilyn Leuszler recently returned from the Santa Fe Indian School commencement. “It was an amazing and most important commencement speech at the Santa Fe Indian School. I am so proud and humbled that I've spent the past four years working with teachers, administration, and students at the school to complete and install the artwork that Mrs. Obama mentioned. Truly one of the most powerful projects of my life. Thanks to Fresh Artists, the Santa Fe Indian School, and teacher Diane Piercel for making it possible. The entire campus now displays the incredible artwork of students!"
Ms.Obama led off her speech with some powerful words that did not shy away from the history of the school and what its early years represented:
“As we all know, this school was founded as part of a deliberate, systematic effort to extinguish your culture; to literally annihilate who you were and what you believed in,” she said. “But look at you today. The Native languages that were once strictly forbidden here now echo through hallways and in your dorm room conversations at night.”
To see a video of Ms Obama’s Commencement address go to: