December 18, 2000

Beginning of the Road

By Dane Sorensen


In this column I have had the pleasure of talking about art. This year I did a column about the neo-classical art found in the Memorial High School and I did one on Elyís fanciful Shoe Tree. Well, I have discovered another throve of art that I think everyone should see and enjoy. For me great art is something the evokes emotion. If there is no emotion then the artist has failed. In the case of the Shoe Tree the emotion was mirth.

My new artistic discovery makes me feel good. It makes me feel young. It, also, puts me in the Christmas spirit. That is a hard thing for some people to feel. The day to day pressure of life can pretty much bury that old feeling of excitement. The same goes for much of modern art. It often lacks any emotion because it is an expression of some anti-establishment intellectual who only paints for himself.

We are lucky to be far from New York and Paris. Much of what goes for art today is intellectually tired. Much of it was inspired by truly revolutionary minds at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. We are stuck today with subsets of Impressionism, Modernism, Neo-Realism, Pointillism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Yawnism is what I would say poor New York is stuck in.

Here in our frozen Florence of the North, people are expressing themselves in the language of art based on the premise that art is to be shared. It is not only for our own purposes, but it is to be shared with the community at large. You can see that in the sculptures of snow, stone and wood. You can see it in the murals at Philís.

This week I found a whole building filled with art. There are hundreds of pictures and two dimensional sculptures. All are on exhibit and you donít have to even pay admission to see them.

What I find exciting is that there is no Yawnism in any of these art objects. Each is based on a style that is fresh and innocent. These artist go right to the heart of the matter and each and every art work shows emotion. There are no elitists in this crowd.

If you are feeling a little down this holiday season I recommend you go see the art at Washington Elementary School. The exhibits are always changing as these artist do not sit on their laurels. They are always expanding their horizons. Right now there is an excellent Christmas exhibit. No doubt, next January we will see a Valentine exhibit, followed by St. Patrickís exhibit and the ever popular Easter exhibit.

If you donít have time to go see these artistic geniuses and you feel you are in the dumps, I suggest you do what these revolutionary artists do when they feel that way. Pull out a box of crayons and paper, sit yourself down at the kitchen table and start drawing. Draw a picture of Christmas past. Draw a picture of when you were in third grade and you had the world by the tail. Make sure you put your name on the back in red crayon and then send it to someone you love for all great art must be shared. If that doesnít work for you then you need to spend some time in Mrs. Finkís first grade again.

To hold you off I have included a couple of photographs of what I consider happy art. It is everything life should be Ė playful, imaginative and colorful. Use them as your guide to a festive week. Merry Christmas!


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