Posts Tagged ‘FDR’

GC Myers- Believer smWe have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.

Franklin D. Roosevelt


This new painting, a 24″ by 30″ canvas that is part of my Home+Land show at the West End Gallery, is a piece that really has strong appeal for me personally.  Maybe it’s the warmth in its colors and the way its forms and textures flow together.  Or maybe it just has something to say to me.

I call this piece Believer and, for me, I saw differing forms of belief throughout the piece, as seen in the obvious reference to religious belief as represented in church and steeple.

The farm and silo I saw as a symbol of a belief in the earth and one’s own self-sufficiency, a belief centered on common sense and knowledge.  I saw the Red Tree as the believer, as FDR said in 1940, that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.  It is a symbol here of the dreamer, the explorer.  The believer of a better future.

The radiating sun represents a constant for all of these beliefs.  We all believe that the sun will come up each day.  It has always done so and I believe that it will probably continue that way for the foreseeable future.

I guess the point is that, unless we have abandoned all hope in ourselves and this world, we all have a belief system of some sort, whether it is in our own god (or gods) or in science and knowledge or in a better world beyond the horizon.

As for myself, I believe I’ll have another cup of coffee…

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I saw a news analyst yesterday discussing the ongoing Republican presidential primary who was discussing the general lack of enthusiasm for this group of candidates, both within the party and across the country as a whole.  None of these characters had sparked any real fires in the hearts and minds of the populace. The analyst admitted that he was a Democrat so he was somewhat pleased but he then made a point that really stood out for me. 

 He said this group of candidates’  lack of imagination and the ability to produce a single big idea were the most disturbing aspect of this whole fiasco.  They had not given us, the citizenry of this country, anything that made us dream forward, made us want to rally behind them.  They had not challenged us in any way, save for one feeble effort from a damaged and bitter Newt Gingrich who pandered to the Florida space community by proposing what I think amounted to senior citizen housing on Mars.

This lack of vision and imagination is not only bad news for the Republican party effort but is detrimental for the entire country.  It allows the Democrats to not have to respond with an even bigger vision of their own, lets them run simply on a smaller scale, missing a grand opportunity to unite the citizenry behind the type of grand idea that might define us as a people.  Think of JFK proposing the Peace Corps as a candidate in 1960 or his challenge to us to  put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.  Or FDR and the sweeping New Deal porposals of his 1932 campaign.  Ideas that put our vision forward in a united way instead of focusing on the divided present.

I don’t see any of this group of clowns coming up with a grand vision of where they wish to steer this country.  They offer the same old proposals of  trickle down economics and tax cuts for the wealthy that have been a drag on this country for over 30 years.  They offer no hope, no inspiration for betterment  for anyone trapped in the lower classes of our society.  They certainly don’t give us a vision of the future that unites us as a people, bound together by a single large goal. 

I know that it may be asking too much for someone running for president but I  wish they would come up with a single  big idea.  Perhaps I couldn’t get behind it but at least it might spur an even bigger and better idea that would excite me and millions of others to action. 

 And that would be something to see.  Just imagine what we might accomplish…

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History of Labor in the State of Maine- Judy Taylor Studio

This is a mural that adorns the Department of Labor in the state of Maine. Measuring 8′ high by 36′ long, it was created by Maine artist Judy Taylor in  2007/2008 to commemorate significant moments in Maine’s labor history, including the adoption of child labor laws, better working conditions for all workers and the increasing signifigance of women in the labor force.  It also memorializesMaine native  Frances Perkins, who was the Secretary of Labor under FDR, the first female to hold any cabinet post.  It glorifies the plight of the worker in an appropriate setting, the Department of Labor, and is a striking and significant piece of public art.

Maybe it’s just me but this seems like a no-brainer but recently this mural has come under attack.  Maine Governor Paul LePage (R)  has ordered that is be taken down as he has had complaints from business factions that it is unfairly biased against business owners.  As proof, they released an anonymous fax signed “A Secret Admirer” who claimed that he felt he was in North Korea viewing public political propaganda and this was nothing more than an effort to further the Union movement. 

The governor also plans to change the name of several meeting rooms in the building named after people in the Maine labor movement.

From looking at the mural and its short descriptions of each panel ( to do so, click on the image above and it will take you the artist’s site), I saw only moments of history that elevated the average worker and protected the vulnerable from exploitation.  How anyone could see child labor laws as being biased against business and not a positive step forward for our society is beyond me.  And this is in the Department of LABOR.   But there is a movement afoot to squash the labor movement, mainly trade unions,  in this country which many think people will not affect them and their lives.  After all, how many people are union members today?  But there is more at stake with this attack than the rights of the unions.

It is both a beginning erosion of the rights we have garnered through the efforts of labor unions and others in the past and a political maneuver to destroy the only organized group that represents the worker in any political sense.  Unions are the only organized political donors who somewhat check the unbridled money injected by business concerns into the political arena.  And even the money spent by unions pales in comparison to that spent by businesses and their lobbyists.  But it is still opposition and must be destroyed and this move by Gov. LePage is symptomatic of this effort.  Demonize and destroy.

I might have a kinder eye toward the efforts of LePage and his ilk if they gave me a reason but all I can see is that our manufacturing base has been stripped away and moved to places around the world where these companies can operate like they were mill or mine owners in the 19th century.  I have even heard recent rumblings that child labor laws are considered unconstitutional in some circles.  These political leaders seem bent on doing whatever they can to take us back to a pre-union world and this small effort to take away an innocuous mural in a government building (the Dept. of LABOR!) is yet another step. 

We must continue to speak out against this sort of action.

Sorry for straying into the political world but they baited me when they crossed into the art world.

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