In 2003 Mark Di Suvero invited me to become an Athena Fellow/Socrates Sculpture Park. It was an incredible opportunity, of which I was honored to accept. During my time spent with Mark he shared with me his philosophies regarding the arts, politics, life and his fascination for mathematics. Besides being and incredible human being Mr. Di Suvero has an endless mind and proved to be one of the most fascinating and provocative individuals I have ever met.
To date, I continue to realize and draw upon the things that he shared with me especially his deep love and commitment to the arts. While at Athena from October 2002 to February 2004 I established a new level of commitment to the arts and myself as a creator. As well, Mark invested a fair amount of his time and energy into me, for which I am very grateful and in return I feel I have allot of work to do for both “the arts” and my work. While an Athena fellow, I started building a body of sculpture I now call “Crude Independence”, worked on a number of books and further developed a number of audiovisual concepts.
In 2005 I completed the sculptures started at Athena and started writing “Crude Independence”. Crude Independence focuses on the multiplicity of wars America has immersed itself in and energy issues perpetually facing our country due to our oil “dependency issues”. As well I noted the undervaluing of what I believe are Americas greatest assets to face the challenge of independence as our tremendous resources in science, engineering, technology and ingenuity. Something I have been thinking alot about.
On March 2, 2011 President Barack Obama presented the National Medal of Arts medal to sculptor Mark di Suvero at the White House (video).
Mark personally ask me to make sure I mentioned the Athena Fellowship (as If I would forget) thank you Mark.