Art class importance

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Regarding "Museum Downsizes Its Painting Classes" (April 24): The Carnegie has offered art classes for humble hopefuls since I was a child. Options have always included drawing and painting -- essential elements of the creative process.

Every museum has that enormous forgotten space with plenty of room for heavy easels, models on platforms and sinks with running water. Our beloved museum is turning this space into "offices." It is offering us a smaller room where you can't paint because there is no sink, water or waste containers.

My fear is that this is the beginning of what public schools are doing across America -- cutting art programs. But the Carnegie is not a public school. It is a beloved institution founded to preserve, present and encourage the arts -- past, present and future. And who are the people who paint? They are grandparents, who also bring grandchildren to see paintings when parents are too busy to go; art students adding to portfolios; well-to-do business people taking a break; and young mothers catching a breather.

All are members of the museum or future contributors. One, just one, has the potential to grow into a famous artist who made his or her start in that enormous room with a great teacher who showed them how to "see" in the studio and "see" through the wonderful paintings upstairs.

ZARAH BLAIR
Sarver


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