Bryan Toy, art teacher at Iroquois High School, caricaturist, illustrator, and topical cartoonist for the Erie Reader learned at a very young age the importance of art. His grandmother introduced him to her favorite artist, Norman Rockwell and spent time doing crafts with him.
Those moments with his grandmother resonated with his soul. He fell in love with Rockwell’s work and still considers him to be the greatest technical painter in American history. He said, “After an adolescence filled with comic books and art teachers who did nothing but encourage me and give me a hundred new ways to create – how could I not become an artist?”
Art is a part of daily life. It can be seen in computer graphics, television, movies, and advertising. Bryan said, “Art is the essence of what humanity is: It’s communication. It’s creating something that never existed before. It’s telling stories. These are the things that make us human. These are the things that make life worthwhile.”
Bryan believes in giving back. He said, “Supporting the Erie Art Museum is step one. A population with cultural literacy and involvement in art makes Erie an attractive place for educated and enterprising people to live. Exciting cultural events make Erie a fun place that tourists want to visit. Art makes people better and smarter: almost all Nobel Laureates in the sciences are actively engaged in the arts as adults. Children involved in art are less likely to drop out of school and are more successful in school and life.”
Bryan spends his summer teaching art at the Chautauqua Institution. He lives and breathes art. He inhales possibility and exhales creativity in whatever her does and wherever he goes.
Thank you Bryan, for all that you have done for the Erie Art Museum!
If you’d like to learn more about making a gift to the Erie Art Museum, please email Christine Eddy, Director of Development, or call ph 814.459.5477.