I recently had the pleasure of visiting Cheekwood, a beautiful historic estate in Nashville. “The history and origin of Cheekwood are intimately interwoven with the growth of Nashville, the Maxwell House coffee brand and the Cheeks, one of the city’s early entrepreneurial families.”
 If you ever visit Nashville it is a must see. They are currently showcasing the beautiful and aw inspiring art of Dale Chihuly:
After visiting I was so inspired by Chihuly’s unorthodox vision, and creativity. A true “out-of-the-box” thinker. I could not believe the way this garden estate had been transformed. Then I ran across Erica Goldsen’s valedictorian speech from June, and it gave me hope that true art and creativity will not be stifled with such visionaries coming into our future! Dale is a thinker, a dreamer, and an explorer, just like Erica.
Erica’s words:
“…..And now here I am in a world guided by fear, a world suppressing the uniqueness that lies inside each of us, a world where we can either acquiesce to the inhuman nonsense of corporatism and materialism or insist on change. We are not enlivened by an educational system that clandestinely sets us up for jobs that could be automated, for work that need not be done, for enslavement without fervency for meaningful achievement. We have no choices in life when money is our motivational force. Our motivational force ought to be passion, but this is lost from the moment we step into a system that trains us, rather than inspires us.
We are more than robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school. We are all very special, every human on this planet is so special, so aren’t we all deserving of something better, of using our minds for innovation, rather than memorization, for creativity, rather than futile activity, for rumination rather than stagnation? We are not here to get a degree, to then get a job, so we can consume industry-approved placation after placation. There is more, and more still.
We are thinkers, dreamers, explorers, artists, writers, engineers. We are anything we want to be – but only if we have an educational system that supports us rather than holds us down. A tree can grow, but only if its roots are given a healthy foundation.
Erica goldsen
Coxsackie-athens high school 2010 graduating class valedictorian speech
Comment: The following speech was delivered by top of the class student Erica Goldson during the graduation ceremony at Coxsackie-Athens High School on June 25, 2010
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“Dale Chihuly is most frequently lauded for revolutionizing the studio glass movement by expanding its original premise of the solitary artist working in a studio environment to encompass the notion of collaborative teams and a division of labor within the creative process. However, Chihuly’s contribution extends well beyond the boundaries both of this movement and even the field of glass: his achievements have influenced contemporary art in general. Chihuly’s practice of using teams has led to the development of complex, multipart sculptures of dramatic beauty that place him in the leadership role of moving blown glass out of the confines of the small, precious object and into the realm of large-scale contemporary sculpture.Chihuly’s spectacular creations are found in more than 200 museums worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Garden exhibitions of his work have been mounted at the New York Botanical Garden, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.  For more information about Dale Chihuly and his art, please visit

www.chihuly.com. ” Cheekwood 

Continue to be inspired, free thinkers, and refuse to conform. We are more than robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school. We are all very special, every human on this planet is so special!

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