An arts leader teaches us about balance

Denny Griffith photo

Denny Griffith, 1953-2016, was CCAD president for 16 years, and also a prolific artist. Photo courtesy of Columbus College of Art & Design via Columbus Underground.

Columbus, Ohio recently lost a venerated leader in our arts community. Denny Griffith had been President of Columbus College of Art & Design for 16 years. But he was also a prolific artist.

What I believe is that the time Denny spent working on his art – his solitary pursuit – was actually a way for him to not just express himself, but also to reflect and recharge. He was such a social person as CCAD president, and the time he spent alone in his art studio (I believe) gave him the energy and drive to do an incredible job in his administrative career.

Conversely, I believe his work as an arts administrator actually fed him spiritually and gave him the inspiration – or let his ideas percolate – so his art was richer. He met so many people in his role as an arts administrator, and his time serving as CCAD college president was so active, that it gave him a lot to think on as he painted in his studio.

So, as you toil away in your “day job,” don’t think of it as a distraction from what you really want to do. Instead, soak in all it has to offer and “use” it in your art. Be wonderful in all you do. Just as Denny did.

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