Look for the art in person

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Growing up in New York, I knew the bar was set exceptionally high when it came to two things: pizza and the arts.

Like many children, my first exposure to the work of the masters was in a textbook or on a faded projection screen. But if we wanted to see these works in person, it was only two hours away by train.

During my travels across the country, I realized that not everyone was so lucky.

At first I was disappointed. After all, art’s greatest impact comes from seeing the most well-known artists, right?

I am happy to share that this is not the case.

Look around – is it filled with items that, as professional organizer Marie Kondo would say, “bring you joy?” I hope so!

Now, what is it about this object that makes you so attached? Is it the colors used, the style of the artists or the subject? Is it the relationship you have with the artist, or his story?

You don’t have to be in a metropolis or have wads of cash to be able to access meaningful art. A Vincent van Gogh and a Frida Kahlo have as much impact as a Helen Wilson or a Caylor Nuth – two of my favorite local artists represented at 2Create Gallery.

Art can be a serious mood booster, which is why I encourage everyone to create their own mini-museum at home.

In this month’s column, I share a photo of my favorite room. What do you see? No doubt you notice the detail of the brushwork, but I’m sure you haven’t missed the glaring patchwork either.

When friends and I drove through the First Mesa section of the Hopi Nation in Arizona, we found vendors lining up selling pottery outside the century-old pueblos. However, none caught my eye, as they seemed to be commercially made. Then an older woman – Anita – invited us into her living room to see her work, and we agreed.

She had a display of very simple pieces. They were by no means symmetrical or finely refined. She explained how she made the paint with a local vegetable, which stained her fingertips dark orange, and how a younger relative helped her cook the pieces. She pointed to this plate and explained how she did her best to fix it after it exploded during the cooking process. I got the impression that she didn’t think we’d be interested. In fact, it was quite the opposite – if I didn’t get this piece, I knew I would regret it for the rest of my life.

The memories in this room are rich and heartwarming, and so much more personal than anything I’ve ever seen in a major museum.

I invite you to immerse yourself in local art by visiting Ramona’s murals, taking a painting class in a winery, listening to the musicians of our region and stopping by our galleries. Swap drawings with friends or offer to buy a sketch from a young artist to encourage their efforts. I firmly believe that everyone, including you, can live a richer and fuller life with the arts.

Plan to attend the next Ramona Open Studios tour on April 9th ​​and 10th, where you too can have your own deep interaction with a local artist like the one I had with Anita many years ago.

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