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Answer to Art's Elusive Questions

Addie HirschtenBy Addie Hirschten
Indianapolis, IN - May 16, 2015 - Of all the questions about why we, as humans, do the things we do, there is perhaps no more difficult one to answer than the question of why we are driven to create art. A new podcast from artist and teacher Addie Hirschten, "The Alchemy of Art Podcast," draws upon the power of storytelling to cast a clarifying light on the philosophical complexities of art and the creative process. Built around folk tales and true stories that Hirschten has collected during her years as an art teacher, the podcast aims to tease simple, yet valuable, lessons about creativity from the stories.


"I've gathered these stories from all over the world," Hirschten says, "but they all hit upon and articulate why we create art, and they do it so much better than any modern artist's statement ever could because they have these characters who work through their problems, and they solve them."


The sources of Hirschten's stories are diverse, including folk tales of murky origin, stories from art history and literature, and even true stories from Hirschten's own life. She finds wisdom in stories from all cultures and eras, from ancient myths, to Michelangelo's biography, to the fiction of Oscar Wilde. Even the appearance of an everyday rainbow, for Hirschten, makes an important point about the motivation of artists. All of the stories, though, touch upon questions of inspiration, the definition of art, and the goals of artists, and the stories will resonate with creative people of all ages.


"I get a wide variety of philosophical feedback from students when I share these stories," Hirschten says. "Of course, the adults will see them in a totally different light than the children. They'll get very different lessons from them, but they all love them. Even the adults will beg for these stories, and I think it's because they're all so uplifting."


Alchemy of Art"The Alchemy of Art Podcast" is not, however, limited to storytelling. Hirschten uses the stories as a launching point for practical advice for artists and her own thoughts about the creative process, and she takes time to answer questions from listeners and to make recommendations of books of interest to artists.


Addie Hirschten is a contemporary Impressionist painter. She serves on the faculty at the Indianapolis Art Center, and she has participated in both group and solo shows in Indianapolis and central Indiana. She is also a public speaker and storyteller, and she has combined her passions for storytelling and painting in her upcoming book, The Alchemy of Art: Stories for the Classroom.


You can listen or subscribe to "The Alchemy of Art Podcast." You can also listen on iTunes. To see Hirschten's paintings and to sign up for her email newsletter, visit her web site at Subscribers will receive information about Hirschten's new classes, new paintings and new show openings.