Interpreting Children’s Art:
Thoughts on 'Project Something To Say'

By Marc Connelly, personal friend

We are only children once. Then, childhood only exists as a memory. The reminders of those childhood memories are imbued in the children that pass through our adult lives. With few exceptions, we generally disapprove of adults acting like children, as though it is inappropriate or immature.

I say these things because, in my professional life as a art director, I have seen any number of skilled adults attempt to recapture the innocence of a child‘s hand, holding a crayon, drawing on a piece of yellowed newsprint. None have succeeded.

Just when a hard and fast rule seemed in order, I get to meet Lunch for Maykayla, a sculptural interpretation of a drawing made by a five year old girl. It is light and fresh and faithful to the original intent- and it was wrought from steel! My first impression was: How is it possible, that this feels so true?

The how it is possible part is simply Art. I just surrender to it and enjoy it. I don’t know if Mark himself knows how he does it.

The dichotomy that lays between the Crayloa sketch and steel sculpture give these pieces a deeper meaning as well as dimensional form. That we can recognize the original intent in them makes them fascinating as sculpture. The fact that they represent something entirely different- and much more powerful- to the people that love the girl and perhaps lament the passing of innocence makes them all the more compelling as works of Art.

This is wonderful work to contemplate and enjoy- on so many different levels.