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2002-2003 Artist Statement

For me, the most important element in life is the element of surprise. When I sit and finally still myself at the end of a long harried day, it often feels as if I have lived a lifetime in that single span from sun up to sun down. The unifying substance of the day is the fact that almost none of the events I experienced were in my control. Sure, I may have planned my schedule but that is a far cry from what actually occurs and thank God for that! It is in the supreme unpredictability of life that Art and lasting Beauty is created.

Being an artist is the ultimate life profession that provides me the skill to weather the joys, storms, pitfalls, triumphs, and snafus of daily existence. The dual skills of improvisation and humor are the benchmarks by which I measure myself. Improvisation merely means being flexible. Did I fold under stress today? Did I lose my cool? Or did I learn to stretch like a yogi warrior in ways that surprised and even defied me? And above all, did I appreciate the humor in my futile attempts to be bigger than a situation? If I can’t laugh at the frivolity of my thought and at the craziness within me and in the world surrounding me, then I am nothing.

When I found out I was chosen as an Artist-In-Residence at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts it was one of the greatest days of my lives. Years of hard work had finally paid off – I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. Years of laboring with little money and little recognition have not hardened me but made my soul long for the opportunity
to share what I have always known deep inside – that Art is all we have and all that there is. Toward that end, I have spent my first year at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts giving my time and energy freely to deepen my ties to the community, heal wounds from an unexpected death, and provide opportunities for others to express themselves and be creative.

Our society is falling far short of recognizing that Art is not a luxury. It is the very essence of life. The true artist must not be afraid to speak his or her mind but that is not enough. The artist must lead by example and be a visionary for a new age. The artist can no longer afford to be eccentric, lack business skills, or hide away in a hovel. The artist must be leader. If he or she is not, then they have no right to complain about the perennial angst over budget cuts, lack of appreciation, and missed opportunity. In an age of uncertainty, it is those that give and do that will thrive.

As I enter my second year at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, I am not sure of the path I will take or the one that will find me. I do know that the more I give to this institution and the lively souls that fill it, then the more I will receive. That’s a pretty good deal, I’d say! Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts has filled my life with fresh new relationships, joy, and a forum for sharing my vision to the world. I know I am only at the beginning of what I have to share with the world. I am thrilled that Maryland Hall is and will remain the epicenter of my artistic life.

Rob Levit
May 2003




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