Grateful for Art

A while back, I had the good luck to attend a recital by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and at the time I wrote:

The world may not need another Traviata, or another Don Giovanni, it’s true. It will not stop spinning without another Schubert. For that matter, the world doesn’t need another MBA or another grad student, either. All have their place and their use, though, and it is not enough to feed the body and the retirement account. The soul must be lifted up and fed as well, and art can do that; art can feed what food and material possessions cannot. Great art can sometimes be a swifter, clearer and more direct conduit to the Almighty – to a soul’s one-on-one encounter with the Eternal – than any religion or prayer. We need it.
And art belongs to everyone, no matter how high or humble.

I have no art, myself. Some people are given the gift to create art, others to identify it and nurture it, others to use their own art to interpret or re-interpret. Sadly, none of that is me. Because I have a mushy sort of mind, all I can do is occasionally stumble on art and simply regard it with wonder and awe and joy; with great gratitude to the Creator God, who allows this in us – this freedom and madness – these visions and sounds, words and designs, sculptures and media that give us opportunities to transcend ourselves and meet Him on a creative/creator level.

This is not a matter of faith – my belief is that what human beings can imagine and bring forth from themselves is purely the gift and delight of a Creator who is only too glad to generously split His Divine Spark into us; it is a conviction of my gut, something I have known from my cradle.

Art is a fundamental projection that reaches out – when it is authentic – with such purity of self-revelation that draws forth from even the most suppressed of us, a response; it forces us outside of ourselves, even if we try to fight it.

If we don’t fight it, well, then it takes us along to astonishing places that end up introducing us to ourselves.

Here are three pictures of paper sculpture created with just one sheet of paper. They aren’t even the most impressive examples, but they make me gasp and smile and marvel at what people dream and do. I hope you like them, too.

You can see more here.

And another bit of art that I love – two of Chris March’s outstanding creation’s for Project Runway. Similar, but so gorgeous. Project Runway had some terrific designers this season – Jillian is a favorite, and infant terrible Christian is a monster-sized talent (I can’t imagine what he’ll be like at thirty or thirty-five) but Chris March is my favorite because he is self-taught (!) and because his strikes me as the heart that truly hungers for beauty.

On the list of things I’m grateful for – besides family and friends and health – I am grateful for art.

And from Buster:


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