Release Date: January 26, 2007
Controversy over child’s artistic ability misses the point, KSU prof says
Sundance documentary spotlights five-year-old’s media-fueled rise and fall
Contact: Jennifer Hafer, Office of University Relations, 770-423-6711 or email@example.com
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 26, 2007)—
“The importance of visual arts is that it fosters critical thinking skills and problem solving, as well as promoting personal expression.”
“My Kid Could Paint That,” by director Amir Bar-Lev, features the story of five-year-old Marla Olmstead of Binghamton, N.Y., who has been selling her paintings, some for thousands of dollars, since she was three. After being heralded by Time magazine as a “pint-size Picasso,” in 2004, 60 Minutes II aired a story suggesting that Marla’s paintings were her father’s work.
“Whether the child is a prodigy or not, it’s a positive thing for her to be in an environment that encourages creativity,” associate professor of art history Diana McClintock said. “Art is about more than just making a picture. It has been proven that there is a link between artistic expression and other cognitive functions. I would hope this film raises awareness of how important that is.”
Marla’s work has been compared to famous abstract expressionists Jackson Pollock and Vasily Kadinsky, a comparison McClintock says invites discussion about the nature of abstract art.
“The public has traditionally been suspicious of avant-garde innovation,” McClintock says. “Anything that generates dialogue about the definition and the importance of art in society is valuable.”
“My Kid Could Paint That” is competing with 15 other documentaries for the coveted Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The winners will be announced Sunday.
For further information, or to schedule an interview with Professor McClintock, please contact the writer.
# # #
A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population approaching 20‚000 from 132 countries. The third largest state university in Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including a new Doctorate of Education in Leadership.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.