I think it was Bill Cunningham, fashion photographer for The New York Times, who said “Beauty is all around us if we just choose to see it.” I have to agree with him—although sometimes I forget to look around. As an artist I need not only to look but also to choose to see, because only then will I find inspiration.
This weekend I literally ran into the Uptown Art Festival. I was running an errand at the MAC store on the corner of Hennepin and Lake—by the way, the artists there are so talented and always helpful—when I drove right into the center of the fair.
Normally big crowds make me run screaming in the other direction, but I was with my daughter (the other artist in the family) and I thought, She’s never been to an art fair. Why not take a look around and see what we could see?
We walked through the crowd letting our eyes drink in the sights. I remember when the fair was simply on The Mall (oh, how things change). Once again the thought of running away crossed my mind, but then something caught my eye.
The first pieces of art that drew us in were fiber sculptures by Gloria McRoberts. Not only were her pieces unique, but they were imbued with such vitality they seemed to be moving. She was so gracious in taking the time to explain to my daughter and I how she created her art, and how time consuming it was. “Most people nowadays just don’t have the patience to learn and use these techniques,” Gloria told us. I thought to myself Thank goodness you do, Gloria.
We walked further and saw some bronze sculptures that were so joyful, kinetic, and beautiful, we had to look closer. I tried to explain sculpting, casting a mold, and creating these sculptures to my daughter—fortunately the artist James Gabbert was there to take over the explanation.
He showed us the wax with which he works and some pieces we could touch and therefore understand the evolution of his work. Again the idea of being patient and letting beauty evolve came to mind.
As we walked, it dawned on me that the beauty around me was not just in the artwork, but in the creative process and in the generosity of the artist eager to share their knowledge. Thanks, Bill Cunningham, for helping me to see it.