Gil Dellinger, a contemporary artist known for western landscapes, said something like this, “Art is important. We tend to think of it as a luxury, but it gives people deep pleasure because beauty personifies hope. Hope that something grander is at work.”
Don’t you feel that way too? Art in whatever form—visual, musical, lyrical—
awakens within us a precious, creative life force that lets us see beyond our routine, everyday world. It allows us to push open a heavy door, groaning on its hinges, to imagine a whole new world of possibilities, where beauty shines through the mundane, and joy prevails despite the struggle. Art uplifts and edifies.
Recently my husband and I were walking the Art Around the Corner show in the downtown historic area when we encountered a man taking photos of the pieces. We engaged him in conversation, and his enthusiasm for the sculptures became apparent. He was a construction engineer and had just finished several months of work on the Hoover Dam outside Las Vegas. That day he was just passing through St. George on his way to another job. He said this was his life, traveling from one work site to another, a kind of high-tech nomad.
But what he said next will stay with me for a long time. With much sincerity he expressed gratitude for stumbling upon the outdoor sculpture show. He told us, “Finding this exhibit is an unexpected pleasure that has brightened my day. It is moments like this that give meaning to my crazy life. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”
Wow! Who would have thought that a short stop in our little city could mean so much? This practical man, a professional who I imagine is very rooted in solving real-world problems of tensile strength and stress loads, had found a gateway into a different, creative dimension. And his enjoyment of it would enrich others as well. He was taking photos to send home to his family, to share his experience with them.
Picasso once said, “The purpose of art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls.” I certainly agree. Without our intentional, creative efforts at transforming that daily dust, the world can indeed be dreary. But the miracle of humanity is that we do transform, we do transcend, we do imagine. And I’m so grateful for that boundless capacity. We are so blessed in this town to have a dedicated group of volunteers who work tirelessly to bring art into our lives. They understand the importance of art and the value it adds to our community. Thank you for all you do.
I never did get that man’s name, and now I wish I’d have asked. So now I’m reaching out to find similar stories. If you’ve had a strong personal connection to the sculptures in our show, or have had a transforming experience with any piece of art, would you please share it with me? I would love to hear about it.
Art Around the Corner
Director of Sales & Community Relations