art show

Why the art?

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Oh the beauty of the questions that have been presented to me since scheduling this upcoming art show. And one that keeps swirling in my mind is "Why?"

Not "why the show?" but "why the art?"

And, there's much to the answer, but lets start with the basics of what you will see in viewing my work: color, words, texture, open.

COLOR: I returned to painting near the end of my recovery from a couple of years of depression. With that in mind, you'd expect my work to be gloomy and a bit downcast. But in fact the pieces all end up packed with color and vivid energy. This, I believe, is my inner voice saying that there is good and light and energy and excitement to be had.

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WORDS: You might see scrawlings of words and confessions—some legible and some more hidden, but engaging nonetheless. Sometimes these words carry a clear message, sometimes they subtly contribute to the overall form.

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TEXTURE: You will find an unmistakable background of heavy texture. I happened upon the power of texture quite subconsciously. I do remember wanting it, and finding ways to create it, but I don't remember thinking it through until I noticed the texture kept returning. The texture, I've discovered, is my way of saying that there are many cracks in the logic of life, many bumps and scratches and dents in our journey, but we are on a beautiful and lively road. And traveling in distinct and unique ways.

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OPEN: The subject matter comes from my own affinities: landscapes, seascapes, sunsets, symbologies, birdcages, words, forms. This is the most varied element of my work, the actual subject matter. But in all of these representations, the pieces have a sense of openness and honesty. They are not packed full of overwhelming imagery, but the imagery remains simple and relatable. My hope is that the imagery engages a dance of familiarity and surprise, asking you to think about what the imagery represents in your own life.

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The end goal, the "why" of my art, is a dialog of questions and discoveries within the mystery of life. It's the dance of pain and purpose. Beauty and brokenness. Hope and hurt. And my desire is to show you that these things can in fact coexist to create something meaningful and inspiring.

They showed me who they were.

Imagine holding up your secrets for everyone to see. Or maybe your quiet thoughts from just-before-sleeping or from driving down the road by yourself. Or from a longer-than-usual and hotter-than-usual shower that you really needed for your body and mind to settle down a bit. Imagine taking all of those things and packing them into your car for a room-full of strangers.

But, then, here's the crazy thing: Imagine wanting to do this. Imagine this being a dream come true.

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We loaded in and set up for a beautiful fundraiser—an opportunity to support the changing of lives in corners of the world I can't reach with my own two hands. But I carried in what I had. I carefully set it out, heart pounding over what they would think and what they would say. Or if they would care at all. I saw a few familiar faces and heard "oh I know your mama and daddy." But most didn't have expectations of me at all.

I invited them into the art gallery, explaining that this was a chance for them to "listen" to what the art was saying—engage with art as they would engage with the music and lyrics they'd just heard. Let it speak to them. Let it draw truth out of them.20130326-131611.jpg

That's the "why" of my art. To share truth. To share the world as I see it and as I so desperately want to see it. Art is a conversation, both between me & God and between me and those viewing.

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The response was beyond what I anticipated. Story after story. Question after question: tell me about this piece, what were you thinking, what does this mean.

And I told them. And then they told me. I heard stories of homes destroyed. Marriages destroyed. Lives destroyed. I didn't say it, but I knew the truth of my art—a dance of joy and sorrow, pain and contentment. They answered my questions with questions of their own. They responded to my whispered confessions with tears and stories and memories. And hope and healing.

And I was changed because they showed me who they were.