A few years ago, I showed a collection of large-scale paintings at a small local gallery and, because it was an un-intimidating and intimate space, I decided to spend my weekends there, talking with and listening to those who visited.
Most visitors were eager to talk about their own art ideas and some were clearly confused. Others were downright unhappy to be there and were unsettled (maybe even angry?) about the prospect of having to look at the paintings on the wall.
I was encouraged by the openness of everyone with whom I spoke; even those who seemed confused and frustrated. Everyone had something to say and many, clearly, wanted their opinions to be heard.
One visitor in particular, I remember, was baffled about the paintings and what their value could possibly be to him or his life. "What purpose do they serve?", he asked.
And because I had no persuasive, one-line answer, I asked the man if he had ever made art. "Of course. At school, when I was a kid." "Do you remember anything you made?", I asked, and after a moment of consideration, he dove into an impassioned monologue about his childhood; his parents, home, siblings, schooldays and life.
At one point he turned to one of the landscapes on the wall and told me it reminded him of the farm where he grew up. He stood, and looked for a few seconds then continued, with tears in his eyes, to speak at length about his parents and family and how they molded him to be the man he was.
So what is the value of art? "It is what we make it", as the pundits say, but it is more than that.
Art is a conduit for all of us to engage and connect. It is a starting point for the development of community and conversations that lead us to identify who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re headed. It shows us none of us is alone in our experience of the world.
What is art for you?
Send a drawing. Write a story.
Tell me what you think.
- Janet, PiCADOOdesign Artist & Founder
Share this post
- 0 comment
- Tags: art, community, connection, conversation, experience, make art, not alone, value of art