The Spirit of Learning

by Kennedy, John (American, b. 1931)
Categorized in Sculpture

Kennedy?s Scottish ancestry makes him most proud even though he currently resides in Palm Springs, California. In his early years he grew up in India and recalls many fond memories of his time spent there and admits to the influences this experience has had on his art. The graceful, lithe figures portrayed in Spirit of Learning reflect the temples of India and the people Kennedy remembers so well. The figures seem to be moving in a joyous dance reminiscent of Matisse?s Dance. This piece of sculpture was especially commissioned for State Fair Community College and the artist stated that his inspiration for the piece came from a speech he recalled in the 1980’s movie, Dead Poet?s Society. Robin Williams plays the main character in this film and he portrays a professor. Kennedy liked the message of a speech William?s character gave to his students before they left school. In the speech the professor tells his students to be sure and remember to have fun in life and to especially remember the poetry in life. The artist reflected on this simple bit of advice when he created Spirit of Learning.

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