Four year-old raises money for the Red Cross' Japanese Relief Fund


Miller Jackson explains how he "processed" visitors in the Studio during the open house

Miller Jackson is a four and a half year-old who has been studying Japanese for the last two years at Burr School, which is a Japanese Magnet School. He loves Japan and all things Japanese. So, when the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan, he saw the images and heard the news. His response was that he wanted to take all the money in his piggy bank and give it to help the victims.


Six of Miller's original images

Donald Jackson, his artist father, explained that as an artist, "we can do more for them ." "I noticed after the tragedy, all the paintings and drawings Miller was doing were nothing but giant waves, destruction and people running. It was a way for a four year-old to make sense out of the tragedy.

"We talked about it. I suggested that we take all the people and destruction out of the drawing and work on the wave. We talked about the power of a single image and what it could do. I explained about a certain type of printing that we could do and make a series of pieces."


Donald and Miller talk about how the sales of the images were progressing

They were monoprints, created using the image of a series of waves. Using this method, the image is painted on glass, metal or plexiglass then paper is placed on top. The image is transferred to the paper by gently rubbing the back of the paper. When the paper is removed, the image is on the paper in reverse.

The result was a series of eleven original prints ($50 each) and inkjet copies of the originals ($20 each). Each is signed and numbered. As of now, there are only two originals left and some of the copies. "By the end of the month, the sales and other donations will total between $1,250 and $1,400. All will go to the Red Cross' Japanese Relief Fund. Miller is an oddly generous person," explains his father.


Interior space is light and colorful

Miller's work is hanging in Color Wheel, a studio and art school that Jackson opened about a year ago. "I got to see first hand what art education was like in Chicago Public Schools...there isn't any. What is in the schools is more pathetic than anything else. It upset me so much that I stopped everything that I was doing. I knew I couldn't change the school system so I decided to teach the kids myself. I'm not an art teacher but I am an artist and I know how to teach kids. I studied normal and developmental psychology for more than twenty-five years so that is how I develop all these classes.


Miller stands in the Studio's doorway.

"Our classes are not to turn a kid into an artist but they do develop very specific cognitive skills that a regular school does not do...can not do. Schools teach you how to get from point a to b in the quickest easiest way possible. What our classes do is to teach you how to look at things from different angles and how to approach things in several different ways not just one addition to many, many other things."

Jackson has four and eight week sessions of classes for two year-olds to teenagers. Working with each student individually in classes with up to six students, he tracks each students as they develop.

To learn more about Miller's project check this out



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