What’s in a Life?


Marina Haight

What’s in a life?  Last weekend, friends and relatives gathered at separate memorial services to honor and celebrate two artists whose lives resonated widely, but ended too soon.

Artists have a way of building our engagement by presenting us with ideas and new ways to think about things. Their messages live on through their work and through the lives they touch. Marina Haight was a teaching artist for the Rye Arts Center and ArtsWestchester.  She never failed to charm children of all ages with her imagination and her assortment of colored papers, feathers, and tinsel, which under her tutelage became childrens’ works of art. Marina was a creative spirit in an artistically-talented family of eleven. One by one, siblings attested to the fact that she was a force of nature in art and in life.


Self Portrait by Allen Hart

Allen Hart will long be remembered both for his joie de vivre and for his life’s work. Some 250 of his paintings cataloged by his son were projected at the memorial service, and it was confided that these were just the tip of the iceberg. What I learned about Allen was that for 25 years, he served as director of the Childrens Aid Society, using his talent to build an arts program for at-risk youth in Lower Manhattan. I think that being an artist is a calling, but giving art to children is a mitzvah.

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