Norco College Professor lectures that ‘Art is Hope’

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By Corey Robinson


Art is a way to escape the mundane realities or the overloaded work schedules in our daily lives.

Quinton P. Bemiller is a professor of arts and the creative director at Norco College. On April 16 and 18, Bemiller gave his lecture “Art is Hope,” at the Coil School of Arts at Riverside City College and again at Norco College.

He told stories of artists that embody their reality with their art during their lifespan.

Within the lecture, Bemiller made it a point to inform students of his concept of art.

“Art is the highest form of hope,” Bemiller said, which reflects of his views on art within the era of tragedies and times of struggle.

During the speech, Bemiller introduced attendees to his daughters, who are all also young artists, who use their art as an outlet for a variety of different emotions.

Jade was diagnosed with cancer  and has experienced many challenges at such a young age. At the age of 4, she was able to bring her real feelings to life through art. As she grows up and looks back at the art she made, she would be able to see how strong she was during her fight against cancer.

  “Art helps us to pause and take stock of our values,” Bemiller said. “It’s a realization of accepting who you are.”

Along with Jade there are two other daughters, Lillie and Violet Bemiller, who use art as a life healing process as well.

“Children create art when they need hope the most,” Bemiller said.

The many art pieces the girls create will help them remember who they were to others in the future.

The artists he mentioned made a physical timestamp with their art, such as deceased artist Paula Modersohn-Becker, which gives hope to others.

According to Quinton, Modersohn-Becker exemplifies hope by being female and still finding it in her spirit to make art during the time when sexism was a social norm and art wasn’t considered a promising occupation.

The most powerful quality that Modersohn-Becker had was knowing herself. She used her art to create her voice and style to become the person she knew she wanted to be.

This is one of the many qualities that were identified in the artists that were presented by Bemiller in which their art gave hope to the world, even after death.

Unfortunately, Modersohn-Becker did not live to see her impact, but left with an insight of her mindset.

“I know I shall not live very long,” Bemiller said, reciting a quote by Modersohn-Becker. “But if I painted three good pictures, I know I shall leave gladly with flowers in my hair.”

As human beings we must find hope in a world of disease, violence and heartbreak.

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