The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston invited the public to choose their favorite impressionist art piece for a special Impressionist Exhibit. My friend and I voted, and as advertised, we received our free tickets.
We enjoyed every moment of our day at the museum, as we were able to explore the floors of visual history with only invited distractions.
Reading, observing, exploring and learning was time well spent away from the monotony of motherhood. I never enjoyed museums when I was younger, they always bored me, as I never understood what I was looking at, and why it was of any importance. Thoughts like “I can make that…in pre-school nonetheless”, would take over my mind as I was supposed to be ooohing and ahhhing at said “masterpieces”.
Fortunately, the art world has started to mean something to me, as Iʼve come to understand art for more than what it looks like, but for the story that it can tell, the message it can try to project.
One of the wings at the MOFA displayed a huge, wall sized painting of our
nations first President. He sat, heroically posed upon his horse, while a battle raged
beside him. I was left with an impression of a brave and valiant man, yet on closer
observation it became clear that the painter was not likely sitting amidst the battlefield
with easel, canvas and paints. But the image invoked a feeling, a perception of a man I
had never met, a scene I had never experienced, whether real or not, my senses were
stimulated. Another interesting piece by Andy Warhol, in the contemporary wing, was
his famous Oxidation Painting, valued well over one million dollars, where he invited the
public to urinate on his canvas to observe the reaction it had with a copper pigment he
was using. Itʼs art, is it not? After all, art is subjective, and itʼs not art because itʼs
beautiful or unique, it is part of history, reflecting culture and shaping it.
The counterculture of the 60ʼs and 70ʼs to todayʼs youth is similar to how a teen
from the 60ʼs might have viewed the culture of the 1920ʼs. Iʼm 28 years old, I graduated
high school in 2003, when “music”, like “The Thong Song” were trending. To quote Bob Dylan,
“the time they are a-changing.” Today, mainstream media has successfully sexualized any and
everything, from animate to inanimate things. Commercials project wonder drugs for
everything, from hang nails to hangovers. Soft music plays, with visions of butterflies and
flowers, as a voice recites the ongoing lists of possible side effects. The billboard top 40 is
infiltrated with pornographic, morality slaying, x-rated lyrical content, under the guise of
“artistic expression”, and “freedom of speech”. Well, any form of self expression can be labeled
as “art”. I can put some words to a beat and call it music, or words in a certain meter and call it
poetry. Being artistic isn’t about something being necessarily good or bad, or representing what
the eyes can behold as beauty. Creative acts reflect intent and purpose .
An author writes with a goal in mind, to leave itsʼ readers with a feeling of
excitement, sadness, confusion, hope, etc. When you start to read art like a story, the
artist can cultivate the same power, as can mainstream media, including movies, music,
reality shows, and social media. They all project images, words, emotions, standards for
behavior and much more. This mural, titled “Paint for Peace” began as a project to cultivate
hope amidst a hurting community given the overwhelmingly high statistics of heroin and opiate
use among the old, and tragically the young. For one year I have been teaching art classes in
various restaurants, cafeʼs, craft fairs, and community events, working to cultivate creativity,
pointing participants to Godʼs peace, and how to keep it.
imagery upon the soul. My year long artistic venture has taught me a valuable lesson,
that art does not have to define a culture. We the people can use art to impact a
culture, a small town, or most importantly, our youth! We can use a visual symbol to
strengthen heavy hearts, to minister life and light to those who are willing to open the windows
of their hearts to see what the eyes cannot.
For this project, every participant was asked to paint something to symbolize an inner sense of peace, amidst lifeʼs unpredictable circumstances. I have collected over 100 pieces from some experienced painters, but mostly from people who never thought they could paint. People who have endured hardships, and grief beyond belief. People who have had great success and failures, recovering drug addicts, children, mothers, fathers, grandfathers, teachers, preachers, people from all walks of life. At the close of every class I photographed each participants finished piece, then printed the images onto 4X6 photo paper. Next, I drew the outline of a dove onto a 4X4 ft piece of plywood, where I then pieced each image within the silhouette, using mod modge as the medium to adhere them together. Lastly, I painted the wood white, and the image will soon be printed into a banner for the town of Saugus.
Thank you to everyone who participated and supported me to make this possible.
From my heart to yours,
Verse 8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virture, and if there be any praise, think on these things.