hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Art at Home

This past weekend, Pt. Roberts hosted a little art retreat.  Eight or so women (as it happened, they were all women) came to spend several days together working on altered books.  Or at least some of them worked on that while others worked on other things.

We are living through something of an art renaissance right now and it's nice to see it gathering here at our Community Center.  Of course, Point Roberts has probably a particularly high incidence of artists among its residents, partly because it is something of a retirement community and lots of retired people, once they have the time, turn to the reengagement with the world and the imagination that art offers.  But, also, it is the kind of place that artists of all kinds are inclined to show up to.

There is a general inclination in this culture to equate art with galleries, New York City, museums, things like that that might be called 'high art,' but might just as easily be thought of as commercial art.  And then there is the other kind: not low art, but non-commercial art.  Art that is made for the joy of it, not in order to try to become famous or even just to make an adequate living.  It is more about the opportunity to learn something about a material or variety of materials and about one's self in relation to that material and to the ideas that the material inspires.  To see what one can make, most simply put.  Like God creating the heavens and the earth in the Bible, the artists reaches out their hands and make things with what lies before them.  And then they think about what they have wrought.

The Community Center's  tables were overflowing with things when I was there on Sunday.  I wasn't participating in this particular event (although several of the Point Roberts quilters were), but I dropped in to see what they were doing.  And they were doing lots of things: making altered books and making brand new books with old things, making art journals, making paper sheets for backgrounds, making nuno felt scarves, which last has nothing to do with altered books but everything to do with making art, in this case wearable art.

Luckily, I can pretty much do this kind of thing most days of my life, freed from the obligations of employment and child rearing.  And I know how much joy it can provide.  And was providing to these artists.  It was the first time this group had been here (usually, they meet on Whidbey Island, I believe).  There is lots of art here in our townlet and there is always room for more.

If they come back, which they might in the spring, drop by and see what they are doing.  You may catch the fever.

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