Thursday, January 10, 2013

In, As and For Community Through Art

Here we are again in AZ, preparing for our 15th year at the Celebration of Fine Art, and re-united with our community of artists.  We spend three full months every year with these people - that's more time than some of us spend with our own families.

As we hundred or so artists, plus mates and helpers, hustle and bustle around the big tents, hammers and paint brushes in hand, building individual studio spaces which reflect our personalities and our approaches to presentation, we holler our hellos across the aisles - "Hey Ken! Deb! So glad you got here safe and sound!  Talk later!" - "Heather!  I'm so glad you're back this year! Can't wait to see the new work!" - and we each continue on pounding and measuring, cutting and painting.

We are excited to see old friends, anxious to get our work hung - will it look as good on this color wall as I imagined it?  Are there too many pedestals in my space?  Oh no! I forgot my sign! - We are one hundred souls focused on one thing - coming together in a community of artists, as a community who makes art, for a community who loves art.

So, what does all this mean - this very special way of communicating our passion?  In all this rapidly shrinking world that often seems to be escalating in violence and divisiveness, it means that there are still people in the world who care deeply about conveying beauty as a means toward peace and understanding.  When artist and audience stand before a work of beauty, whether it is a monumental bronze capturing the grace and strength of a mountain lion, or an abstract forest of falling leaves in glass, an exquisite opal ring, gardens sculpted from gourds, paintings of abstract color fields or ones of delicately rendered real fields - it doesn't matter, because in that space of time, we do not argue to defend or attack, we merely come together and know a moment of calm.  We don't do it to prove that it can be done.  We do it because that is what art does.

So, come and see what this art business is all about.  Experience for yourself how it can open possibilities for something for not just your wall, but your soul.

P.S. Visit me again.  I'll be posting pictures as soon as the show opens on Saturday, Jan 11.