Friends visited last week, and we went to a couple of local art exhibits while they were here. Called "Stars of Texas", these center around an annual juried show that lasts for two weeks and includes daily demonstrations by artists accepted for the show. A "Juried" show means that
entrants were chosen by an art judge to be displayed. These exhibits were free to visit, so our wonderful outing was most frugal entertainment.
I think books, photos, TV, and the images on the internet sometimes fool us into thinking we have seen works of art, when in fact if they have not been viewed in person, we have not seen them at all. The difference is as much like seeing a photo of a person and meeting them face to face. It is really that strong. I could have stayed for hours just observing piece after piece.
Paul bought a sculpture a while back in Rising Star, TX by Sleepy Gomez. It is titled "Worshiper" and is carved from mesquite, reflecting the form of the natural growth of the wood. We were delighted to see more of Gomez' work at Stars of Texas, and to find that he had won a prize there: the Don C. Martin Sculpture Award.
Our collection also includes a carving our neighbor made, and paintings by my mother and by friends, pictures by others who may not have recognition, but we like them. That is our one rule: we collect what we like. And our other rule is: only one of us has to like it. The other will live with the appalling but strangely fascinating folk art sculptures and be quiet. Except for on her blog. ;-)
We went, last summer, up to the Dallas Museum of Art with Devin and Sandy and kids to see the Tut Exhibit. We arrived early and had time to wander the halls of American paintings, and the Art of Mexico (including pre-columbian art) exhibit. The kids were as enthralled as we were. Sandy bought a membership so that they could attend as often as they want. We enjoyed seeing the Egyptian antiquity artifacts, but the real stars were the paintings in the other galleries. We may never possess such wonders, but in a way we always shall for we have seen them with our own eyes.
The other thing about seeing art in person is that it inspires us to want to make art ourselves. And while some talents achieve heights most cannot aspire to, it is still true that each of us is an artist and can make beautiful art. Take some classes, or just jump in and start working. Get
out a paint box or pencil, a whittling knife or a lump of clay, and find out what kind of art pleases you to do. You very likely will be pleasantly surprised.