|Two story mural|
|Behind my office|
Yesterday's newspaper carried a picture of this new mural covering the side of a massive two story commercial building. For this week's playdate, thought it would be fun to go in search of other exterior art. I was shocked at what I discovered. Beyond just the one featured in the paper, they are popping up all over downtown. There is an entire alley gallery behind my Central Avenue office facing First Ave North. In fact, this one to the right is next to the backdoor of my office. I just went out that door last week to take out the garbage. Which made me question whether I am that oblivious to my surroundings or whether this one cropped up overnight. There were no signatures, no advertisements. It was as if someone saw a blank wall and that was all they needed. Which was inspiring and a little bit sad.
There was no curator to inquire about smaller prints, just a transient sifting through the dumpster. Doesn't every artist deserve a formal exhibition with the IT crowd noshing on cheese and staying until the wine runs out? As I focus this month on childlike sincerity, I wonder if this is what it means to be a real artist. To create knowing full well that there will be no fame or fortune.
I have developed a bit of an addiction to local art lately, or rather local artists. Specifically, I am addicted to the look on someone's face when you recognize their talent. It all started with a t-shirt purchase at a place that teaches art to adults with disabilities. Or maybe it started when I went to my friend’s gallery opening and bought a print. No, it actually started before that when I found a local illustrator raising cash on Kickstarter for a children’s book. You don’t need a trained eye to know a look of true appreciation when someone’s creative talent is valued. They light up. Maybe more than money or even food, acknowledgement can nourish a starving soul.
A subtle change is happening in our family as this addiction grows. Suddenly, my teenage son is enthusiastic about going to a glass blowing class. Lately, my daughter can’t leave the house without her markers and coloring book. Even I am more willing to put myself out there with my writing. It seems the more we feed other’s creative endeavors, the more confident in our creativity we become.
So to whoever you are that painted that funky fruit family or nailed Frida Kahlo's unibrow- please accept my sincere appreciation. You are an inspiration to anyone with the courage to create. You make this place we call home that much more special.
Have you appreciated someone's else labor of love lately?