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building Tomorrow

A Series of Ink and Watercolor Portraits of local schools.

Education has always been a matter of priorities. Everything from selecting the cultural values that should be prioritized, to the skills that should be considered essential are up for constant debate among parents and educations. Over the last decade, we’ve seen STEM and trade based training rising up the list of priorities, which I think is something to be celebrated. However, when it comes to priorities, what goes up causes something else to come down. If you look at statistics from the last few decades, the arts have often been the loser in this conversation around educational priorities. ​ I don’t fault educators trying to do their best with limited funds and time. In fact, I have no interest in pointing fingers at anyone with this project. My aim is to inspire the local community to rally around the importance of the arts in primary education. Below are a few things to consider.

The Arts Boost Academics

The arts are a kind of secret academic performance booster. Research shows that early engagement with the arts can lead to growth in critical thinking, problem-solving, and even improvement across other academic subjects.


Emotional Health

The arts are an important form of emotional communication, teaching us to deal with different perspectives, different cultures, and even healthy ways to express difficult emotions. Art and music have also both been recognized for a tool for dealing with anxiety and depression.


Perhaps most importantly, the arts are important to our humanity. They broadly help us better understand ourselves, each other, and what it means to be human. Yes, we need builders and doers…but we also need singers and painters to remind us of the future we’re trying to build.


Investing in Hope

This collection of paintings is really born from a hope that the generations ahead would not only learn what is practical, but also what is beautiful. That’s why I’m donating a portion of the proceeds from this project to a local grant or scholarship that supports the arts.

Support the Project

The 2024 collection includes ink and watercolor paintings of Iowa School for the Deaf, Abraham Lincoln High School, Thomas Jefferson High School, and Lewis Central High School. Each school is available as a greeting card and as a 5 x 15" print mounted on a 1.5" black matte. A 18 x 24" poster can also be purchased with all four schools on it. Originals will be sold via auction in May 2024, and a portion of all project proceeds will be donated to a scholarship or grant supporting arts education in Council Bluffs.

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