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For several months, Professor Paul Mindell has been seeking approval by President and Mrs. Obama to exhibit his artwork in the White House as a statement of support for community college education nationwide.
There is now strong support of this effort from the Washington offices of the
New Jersey and Connecticut Senators, as well as several congressmen.
Professor Mindell's photo collage withstood the test of a Smithsonian jury this past year, and stands as an example of the high quality of faculty work in our community colleges; and his work as a full-time professor is emblematic of excellence in teaching the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are necessary for preparing students for the future.
If you would like to help Paul Mindell get his art into the White House – as a symbol of support for the
Obama Administration’s program of advancing community college education – please copy and paste the petition below into the message box on the contact page: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Many thanks in advance.
Dear President and Mrs. Obama,
Prof Paul Mindell, Bergen Community College, is exhibiting at the National Portrait Gallery in the triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition [OBPC].
He has sent you a proposal (in a silver aluminum box) to move Align Through Time: The Painted Muse, The Pixelated Views to the White House after Sept 6, the OBPC exhibition closing date.
I strongly encourage you to consider his proposal.
An esteemed Smithsonian jury chose Prof Mindell's photo collage as one of only 49 works from 3300 entrants. As both a full-time teacher and full-time artist, he is very probably the first community college professor ever selected for the prestigious OBPC exhibitions.
Selection of his art is a transformative moment for the community college in America. The message is clear: our community colleges are cutting-edge, two-year educational institutions comparable in every way – from excellence in faculty, to student achievement, to state-of-the-art technology and innovation – with our four-year colleges and universities.
Placing Paul's art in the White House – as a symbol of excellence in both community college teaching and personal work – will advance your program of critical thinking and problem-solving in preparing students for the future. The point is not lost, either, of the community colleges' affordability in getting that education.
As a previously unheralded artist – teaching in New Jersey, living in Connecticut – his selection sends a strong message to students of all ages: Extraordinary yet achievable possibilities can result from hard work, determination, and raw talent focused on a goal.
That Paul has also been a single parent for 20 years, raising an amazing daughter alone who, two years ago, graduated cum laude from Smith College, cannot go unnoticed. It is further testimony to the strength of perseverance and to what can be accomplished when faced with the greatest of personal challenges.
It is my hope that you'll find a place in the White House where his work – an intriguing collaged scene of high-tech community college classroom intermixed with old-world art studio – will be accepted on loan in support of community college education.
Including Paul's work in the White House would be an honor for him and a powerful statement – to students, colleagues, and friends – who work hard at realizing possible dreams!