Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

Creative Spotlight: Paintings by Pak

It struck me very recently how many amazingly talented people I've "met" since I started blogging, or throughout my life. I'm not just talking about writer's, but artists of all types. The one thing that many of these people have in common is that they are trying to get their work out in a flawed system--a system of gatekeepers which only values certain genres, types of art, or names of artists. This is frustrating for a person like myself who believes that the arts should be part of everyone's lives, and that talent is not defined only by expertise.
"Cultural democracy implies placing importance on amateurs and on creating conditions which will allow people to choose to be active participants rather than just passive receivers of culture." (James Bau Graves, Cultural Democracy: The Arts, Community and Public Purpose)
As I began to think about this, I realized that the only way to break through this kind of cultural, elite dominance of what is available for public consumption is to support those artists who try alternative routes. I've done this, in many ways, by writing book reviews or blog posts about books I love,  encouraging people to travel and work with people I love, or suggesting individuals go see shows created by people I know.

For example, although I haven't seen the full movie yet, I made a small donation to help get this movie going. It was written and directed by a friend of mine, who is an amazing talent. If you get a chance to watch it, please do (you might even find an image of me somewhere in there). [embedyt][/embedyt]

This doesn't mean that I recommend things willy-nilly, or simply based on personal relationships. I only write about something or someone when I feel the work needs to be seen by a larger audience.

So, today I decided to start a new category on this site, which I am calling Creative Spotlights where I will share with you some work that I believe needs more attention, in the hopes of generating a community where artists of all types find open doors.

Now I would like to introduce you to Paintings by Pak!

[caption id="attachment_7974" align="aligncenter" width="570"]Redwood Canopy by Mark Pakulak. One of many fabulous works available for purchase on Etsy. (Click on the image and it will take you to his shop). Redwood Canopy by Mark Pakulak. One of many fabulous works available for purchase on Etsy. (Click on the image and it will take you to his shop).[/caption]

Many of you know him as The Idiot.

I call him my friend.

For a long time he regaled us with the hilarious journeys of his imagination at The Idiot Speaketh, before the gatekeepers at WordPress yanked his website without warning for doing what so many people do . . . borrowing images from around the internet to include in his posts.  He attempted to start over at a new site owned by himself, but the joy had been sucked out by the injustice of that act. He just couldn't produce the posts anymore, and he was missed.

Then he set out on a plan to hike the Adirondack Trail with my brother. Now, mind you, none of us have actually met in person. However, physical challenges made that an impractical choice for him. Still, he started Steve on a path, and that path starts tomorrow. I know that in Steve's mind, he will be thinking of Mark on every step of that trip.

Mark needed to find another outlet and he did. Very recently he began painting. He is creating abundant and varied works, any of which I would be happy to hang on my own wall. (The above image is one of my favorites, but I love all his trees and mountains). He paints daily and is producing work at such a rapid pace that he could have a showing in a museum and fill the walls.

Wander over to his Etsy site and browse through his works. Maybe you will find the image you must have, or a gift for a friend. Or, at the very least, you might be inspired to spread the word and share one of the masterpieces of this creative, incredibly kind ,and talented, person.

There you have it, my first Creative Spotlight. Who will be next? Only time will tell.