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Can we face our technological future without dreams? I think not. But the old ideals will no longer serve. I believe that the arts will continue to provide us with new insights into the human condition. As they have in the past, these insights will empower us to meet the challenges of the future.

At present our national consciousness wanders in a no-man's land. Guided by outdated traditions perpetuated by our own wishful thinking, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the complex technology which surrounds us. The pastoral dream we have inherited can no longer shelter us in a world where the unwelcome predictions of Malthus, Huxley, and Orwell threaten to become real.

We must bring together high-tech reality and pastoral ideal and form a new foundation for our aspirations. We must find new paths through the increasingly complex mazes which are the results of advancing technology. We must imagine new freedoms in response to new constraints and new hopes in response to new fears. We must weave the threads of the past into new patterns for the fabric of the future. We must create new dreams.

--Jonathan Talbot, 1996

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We are the artists of our lives. Our blank canvases are the hours of our days, our paints are our thoughts and feelings, our energy is our inspiration.

Sometimes we choose our own colors and sometimes circumstances choose our colors for us. Sometimes we use our artistry to serve those around us and sometimes we use it to preserve ourselves. Sometimes our efforts bring us fame and fortune and sometimes our creativity goes unrecognized except by those close to us. Sometimes we work in complete isolation.

As a child, I watched my mother gaze longingly at the paintings she had done before she "gave up art" to raise a family. I learned from my mother that denying one's creative impulses can lead to sadness and depression. This is something useful to remember in times like these when humankind's failure to learn the lessons of history threatens to destroy its hopes for the future.

Observing artist Alexander Calder, the inventor of the mobile, interact with a group of young people, I learned that being an artist involves being engaged with one's community in a comfortable and unpretentious way. This, too, is something worth remembering in today's world where the modalities of our interactions with others are often defined by the media stream rather than by our own best instincts.

To be an artist is to imagine new possibilities and create new realities. The nature of tomorrow's realities, balanced as they are on the fulcrum of today, will depend on whether or not each of us responds artfully, creatively, and with integrity to the challenges which face us. The more we exercise our personal and social artistry, the more likely it is that we will enjoy a fully realized future.

--Jonathan Talbot, 2005

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