The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him -- it cannot fail.
Walt Whitman

The Power of Giving

The Power of Giving

Dec 4, 2021-- "Fariba Safai and Ashley Smith were still students at CCA when they decided to do something radical. They decided to prepare a large batch of home made soup (from a favorite recipe of Faribas mother), to construct a cart able to wheel a very large stainless steel pot along a sidewalk, and to make their way to Union Square in San Francisco on Black Friday[the day after Thanksgiving and largest shopping day of the year] where they would offer free bowls of soup to any and all. Ehren Tool, a marine who served in Iraq, upon finishing his tour of duty, enrolled at UC Berkeley to study ceramics in the Art Department. There he learned to throw on the wheel and found himself engaged in a new mission: making and giving away thousands of handmade ceramic cups. Each was shaped like a tea bowl and sometimes accompanied by a letter. And each cup was impressed with military emblems and images such as bombs, rifles and gas masks. Tool refers to himself as a war awareness artist. What struck me most strongly about these three artists is that they were all giving their work away, no strings attached. In the context of the art world, art that shocks is standard fare. But the kind of shock one expects from "shocking art" is something disturbing, not something that takes you out of your expectations and leaves you feeling grateful. Here was a new kind of shock, the shock of service, of giving, of generosity." What follows is a dialog with these intriguing artists. (1348 reads)

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