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Shared Humanity Through Art
Drawing and Playing with Yo-Yo Ma
Last Wednesday, I was given the privilege to be onstage and draw and improvise with master cellist Yo-Yo Ma. It was an incredible honor.
I drew, he played. I watched him, and the audience; he watched me and my drawing as it appeared onscreen. It was a multiple collaboration. I responded to what he was playing, he responded to what I was drawing. In between the playing and drawing, we discussed many things, moderated by Stage Director Guy Ben-Aharon.
Some drawings were of the audience, some of Yo-Yo, and one was pure imagination in response to his playing.
Two arts interacting.
The final collaboration was about hope. Yo-Yo played a medley of songs of hope, I drew the audience. Why the audience? Because it was a diverse gathering, with people of all ages, races, colors and different communities. The Jar, where this was held, strives to bring together such gatherings through an intentional Convener Model. It’s a wonderful non-profit that you can read about, here. It was founded by stage director, Guy Ben-Aharon, who also beautifully moderated the evening.
The evening really felt like a community.
I learned so much. We talked and created about passion, fear, hate, anger, hope, laughter, joy. Art is about connection. The two of us connected as we created, but we also connected with those observing.
Art is interactive.
I hope we touched others. Through our expression, I believe we were able to provide a bridge between us all in our shared humanity.
After the event, we did a shoot in front of a large drawing I did earlier. These photos were taken by the amazing photographer and my friend, Eric Korenman
Additional photos by Anna Olivella.
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