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Art Makes Me Happy

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


People want experiences that make them happy.  People love to have stories to tell about their adventures while on vacation.  Personally, I love adventures that inspire me to learn, be creative and live a fuller life.  I love a vacation that supports me in being a happier and more alive person. 

 I recently had a mini vacation at the Art Gallery of Ontario.  It was the first time I had ever gone to the gallery on my own and I discovered that I loved just going at my own speed and taking lots of time to take in the art.  After a couple of hours of wandering I noticed how happy and relaxed I felt.  I felt refreshed and inspired.     I had a couple of favourite moments. One was looking at Claes Oldenburg's Floor Burger. It was  created in 1962 and is a big hamburger.  It is part of a collection of work that was done in the 1960s’ following World War 2.  Many artists at that time were interested in how society was becoming more consumer oriented post war, and they made larger than life pieces to create conversation about it. Another exhibit that I really enjoyed was Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard which was made up of about 100 vintage Chinese wardrobe doors.  The exhibit was about how Beijing has gone through rapid growth and development in the past 30 years, and their way of building has changed the way community forms around spaces.  The artist questions if the wisdom of the poor is being lost in the desire for modernization.  It was a playful, inviting exhibit that I spent a lot of time exploring.  I had a beautiful afternoon and I will go back.  I left inspired and that is always a good thing for my work and my personal life.

At the end of the afternoon at the Gallery I made a commitment to myself that I am going to invite more art into my life.  I’m going to notice how art comes into my life, and into the lives of the people around me.  I am going to take more time to be creative.  The possibilities are endless.  I watch my friends gather around my living room table and colour a zentangle puzzle we just finished.  Everyone has a unique perspective to add. For some people art comes to them through their cooking or gardening.  Others in the way they dress. Some write and some dance. Some see art  in the stars and by the lake and others see it in a magazine.  Some watch and some perform.  I think that art is what makes life interesting.  All of these reflections came from 1 afternoon at an art gallery. Imagine the impact of a 1 week vacation in an art inspired community?

As we move into spring and summer and people come from around the world to explore our county and study art, I hope that we can welcome them, support them and be inspired by them.   I hope we can collectively hold the space for people to find meaningful experiences and when they go home tell happy stories of the county that we all  love. Surely when people are happy they will return. 

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