I went to the most amazing art show tonight. Actually it was two art shows in one. Two amazing artists, both female, combined their exceptional talents into one beautiful show. The experience was really inspiring for the attendees. I don't usually mention names in my blogs, but you should know that the artists are Carrie Viohl and Chelsea Ragan. Two young, talented artists who never let convention or rules dictate how they will express themselves. Their art is fresh, young, and amazing in the way that they take objects that would be ordinary in less talented hands and turn them into pieces of art.
If you have read my blogs before, you know that I would love to be a great, unconventional painter (along with a great rock and roll guitar player -- but that's for another blog). This longing makes me appreciate artists who use mixed media or who just see the world in a different light than the rest of us. Both Carrie and Chelsea see the world in their own unique way -- the beauty of their vision is that everyone who is blessed to witness it loves their interpretation of the world around them. Carrie expresses her art through photography and Chelsea expresses hers through mixed media with its basis in painting and drawing. If you missed the opening, you should go by the gallery in Thomasville, Georgia and see the art. It's worth the trip.
Every time I see an artist's work I wonder what happens in their mind to allow them to create original pieces of art. Were they born with innate talent or did they get just the right encouragement or exposure to the arts at just the right time as their little brains developed? We know that studies have shown for years that children who are exposed to art and music early in life perform better in math and science throughout their academic career.
Note - Just humor me for a minute on this. I don't know much about kids. Really, I don't know a darn thing about kids. However, I know about flowers. I know that fertilizer must be given at the right time in the right dosage to make the flower grow. I know that too little water kills a plant as surely as too much water will kill a plant. I know that failing to "deadhead" or properly prune a plant will prevent it from ever being as beautiful as it could be. I know that a plant that is not grown in the correct zone of the country is a dead plant waiting to happen.
What in the world is the relation to art and plants? Well, when I am planting, fertilizing, or pruning my plants I make sure that these things are done at the appropriate time so that the full affects of the effort are realized. I want to do the right thing at the right time for the plant to flourish and be its most beautiful. The Connection -- when I am gardening, I often think that our children must have strong roots in the home (planting), receive the proper amount of inspiration or exposure to events that help to shape their minds (fertilizer), and be taught the restraint to allow them to take what they have learned to realize their full potential (pruning). If they miss any single one of these -- planting, fertilizing, or pruning -- can they ever reach their full potential? Once again, I don't have any answers, only questions.
I have wondered about these things for years. My mom is a wonderful gardener, her mother, and her grandmother were great gardeners. I have always received good advice about how to take care of plants. For some reason, I have always related this advice to the development of children. Like growing plants or following a recipe, if you miss a single step the plant may die or the recipe may fail. Perhaps I am still thinking about Michael Oher from The Blind Side. His life could have turned out so differently if he had not had someone to plant him where he needed to be planted, fertilize him, and prune him to become a great man.
Carrie and Chelsea obviously had the necessary planting, fertilizing, and pruning to become great artists. How do we make sure that children who need someone to fertilize them have access to that person? We can't all adopt a kid and raise them as our own. We are lucky in our community that we have such a wonderful art center that is reaching out to children to ensure that the seed of creativity that I believe God instills in all of us falls on fertile ground.
A little rambling tonight -- two things I hope you will do -- go see Carrie and Chelsea's art show in Thomasville and support your local art center in any way that you can. You and the community will be richer for your efforts.