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Monthly Conversations

Interviews with Social Artists, Uncommon Heroes

February 20, 2009

Editor of the Month

Richard Whittaker

Here are some powerful stories of giving. Let.s begin with our interview with Jane Baker. Former Chief Operating Officer of Working Assets, Baker has also been an artist for over twenty years. The two vocations were not easy to fit together. Even after Baker retired, her time in the studio was plagued by the nagging sense she could be doing something more effective for social change by using her business skills to help some non-profit instead. [more]

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Jane Baker: Working Assets

Jane Baker: Working Assets

'I'd worked on a couple of art auctions. What we learned is that if something is priced at three hundred dollars, it will go out the door easily. That's one piece. Then I started thinking, I waste so much time trying to figure out how to price my work. That drives all artists crazy! Even older artists, seasoned artists. It's a horrible thing to deal with!'

Juan Negrin: A Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Juan Negrin: A Treasure of the Sierra Madre

'I feel Western man is screaming for some sense of the spirit, some understanding of the spirit. I think that very few people have abandoned the idea that there is something more to us than birth and death, and the body's emotions in between. People like the Huichol are becoming fewer and fewer in the world. There aren't any people from Mexico to Canada, I believe, who have a culture as extensive and as unsyncretized as theirs. If we simply watch this culture get destroyed -- which is what I am seeing myself most of the time -- then what we are also seeing is something equivalent to a jungle being destroyed before the plants and creatures within it are even known.'