A New Day – 75 – Art Hopping
*Today’s images were taken in the Trade Place building’s stairwell, what an awesome way to make use of what’s normally a mundane space.
This evening I did a little art hopping with my sister. We walked around town to several different artist’s exhibits and/or studios. This was my first time doing this, I must say I did enjoy it. I paid a visit to the exhibit of an artist I met a couple of months ago, Mara X of Mindxscape, as we exchanged thoughts on the craft of creative expression. You can visit her DeviantART page here. It was nice to make a stop into her exhibit and see her in her element so to speak. She had some great pieces up related to nebulas and painting them as people. I must say I did love her use of colors.
We were a bit late getting out but ventured to several other artists while we had the time. There were a couple of other artists outside of Mara X of Mindxscape that really stuck out for me. For one, Jean Stevens art was really beautiful and I love the purpose behind her “Field Guides” project. It spoke to my returned interest in bird-watching and plant identification. Especially considering my latest ID’s of all the little brown birds in my backyard, the oh-so often overlooked little guys. I mentioned this to her and she seemed genuinely interested as she herself had left them out of this project, given the nature of editing (always hard to decide who stays and who goes). My sister challenged me to name as many of the birds represented on the various canvases as I could in 30 seconds, I did pretty good missing only a handful maybe. I enjoyed the completeness so-to-speak of this project; her talent and use of colors was great, very accurate to the birds in addition to her dedication and commitment to learn more about the things around her made for a well-rounded project. Her projects included various ferns, birds, butterflies, wildlife, & leaves.
Another artist I want to highlight today was Nikki Kazmar, whose studio exhibit was full of various portraits that she created of people she knew/knows and people she doesn’t know and might never see again. Her artist statement placed near the beginning of her exhibit (near the door) intrigued me. She mentioned how she didn’t know a lot of the people she’d drawn/painted and how drawing those portraits became a very intimate experience for her as she experienced the details in people’s faces (my words) and wondered about their lives, their feelings, their experiences. (You know, I’m going to contact her and see if I can’t get a copy of the statement or at least a link to it and then you can read it word for word! And I’m pretty sure I’m the person she gives the gold star to… ;-)) I had to share with her how I felt about her art. Some of the portraits were like pictures and I felt that she managed to capture these people’s characters, even without knowing them or that they ever even existed her portraits conveyed their, well, “realness”, their humanity, their existence. I expressed to her as well that I liked how small they were, some not more than say 5 x 5 inches. as opposed to big almost life-size portraits. I liked this choice of hers because it forced you to walk closer and really get face-to-face so to speak with the portrait. You could see the details from a distance but in order to experience their faces you really had to get closer, just like you would a person in real life (well sort of as you wouldn’t want to creep them out either). Oh and Nikki, I’m a different sort of artist. 😉
Overall this was a good night. It was uplifting and enlightening to experience other artists and their art up close and in real-time. To see the expressions of so many different people is a testament to the enormity of talent and creativity in the world. The way we seek to express ourselves and that which lives within us doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t, all the same. As strange as it may be to some this reminds me of when I was cataloging my grandmother’s books. I was amazed to see so many books, so many minds, so many people who felt this urge to sit down and create. Then to put our minds to work and make it accessible to others is a feat all in itself and shows dedication to the subject matter as well as the craft. Artists show us that there is more to life than what meets the eye but also that what does meet the eye is often more valuable than what you believe it to be. Being around other creative individuals got my heart racing and my creative gears whirring. What I witnessed tonight was people not being afraid to reach inside themselves find some treasure or treasured thought, or even a strong curiosity, and put it to work.They pushed limits away – not because they don’t exist in reality – and found a space to work within their worlds that was limitless. Take the stairwell pictures for instance. the people who called for this work and who created it didn’t say oh this is a stairwell, just slap on a coat of paint, they said, let’s make it more because we can.
I say, don’t be afraid of yourself; don’t be afraid of what you can’t do thereby restricting what you can. Find your limitless space.