Friday, September 23, 2011

A suggestion for the MacArthur Foundation: Give Arthur Ganson a "Genius Grant"

The MacArthur Foundation just announced the class of 2011 for the "genius grants." And while I sincerely congratulate this year's winners, for the past several years I keep noticing that there is a name missing from the list of awardees.

That would be the artist and creator of kinetic sculptures, Arthur Ganson.

If anyone has "shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction" to quote the grant standards, it is Arthur Ganson.  To further quote from the MacArthur website: "There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work."  Again an apt description of Arthur and his work.

Rather than speak in greater detail for Arthur or his work,  I'll just direct you to his excellent website, and the wonderful video from the TED Conference embedded at the top of this post.

Creative work is often un(der)appreciated work, and while many wonderful artists, craftspeople, and facile thinkers will never receive the recognition they deserve, I hope that Arthur Ganson soon becomes part of the cadre of MacArthur award winners.

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  1. Paul, I absolutely agree about Arthur Ganson. I learned of his work over 10 years ago when I was working on Invention at Play. He is the epitome of this concept and we commissioned a moving sculpture from him that stands at the entrance to the exhibition. In working with him I found that he is thoughtful, humble, and such an innovative thinker and artist - if you start a "nominate Ganson for a MacArthur movement" I'll join!

  2. We second that notion of Gretchen's! And speaking of invention... Hands On! incorporated a dancing chair piece seen in the TED Talk into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame project that opened in 1995. You can see the installation here:

  3. Best 15 minutes I've spent all summer. Sign me up to sign him up.