At a recent gallery opening at The Art Institute of York, PA, I was amazed to see how the mind can take an object that we utilize every day and turn it into something quite out of the ordinary. The creative process is a very personal experience. The hard part is to be wiling to show the results to the world. With artists, art can lay the soul bare - out for all to see, to judge. And that is where the "personal" comes in. Creativity draws on all types of experiences - ingrained, learned and percieved.
The amount of thought, time and work put into these pieces is astounding. And may I add that these pieces were all created by the instructors of the Art Institute from the Interior Desgin Department. One piece, a handbag, was knitted from the caning of a chair. The designer and knitter in residence, Ora Bentz, relayed how her hands became raw and the hours that it took to finish the piece. Instead of throwing those calloused hands up she persevered, and the "purse" hangs in all its' glory.
Keith McCleary, Department Head of both Interior Design and Fashion Departments, took another route in redesigning the function of a chair with a combination of a chess board and ornamentation, including a portrait on the backrest of the chair. Not a detail is overlooked, and the chair is defined by its' meticulous presentation.
So when is a chair not a chair? When a single thought blooms into many possibilities. Possibilities that represent a collective group as well as an individual. Possibilities that are translated from the minds and hands of teachers. Teachers that show why the arts should be a part of our classrooms.
To expand possibilies though personal interpretation is a wonderful thing. Celebration of a simple object may seem like a simple task, but these teachers took that celebration and turned it into art.
The show runs until the 25th of Feb. Most of the items are for sale (a binder with bidding pages for all of the entries that are for sale is located in the gallery reception desk). Any funds generated from the sale will go to the Jackie Hirneisen Scholarship Fund for a student at the Ai York campus.
If you don't know what FE stands for, it is the chemical symbol for iron. Yesterday at the gym I went back to work out with free weights. For quite a few years I lifted weights and was into bodybuilding. Please note, due to genetics I would never bulk up, but kept fit and most of all strong. I'm back at it after a break that probably went too long. Not at the same intensity but back at it none the less.
Usually that section of the gym is reserved for the big sweaty guys that grunt too much and drop their weights on the floor. My rule is that if you can't lift them to put them away, leave them in the rack. However, this early morning I was surprised to see all women working out - with one or two guys warily keeping a wide berth. The best part was that these women were my age-ish. And they were fit, focused and getting it done. Their form was perfect, side laterals lifted with a respectable weight. I was pretty impressed with what I saw.
My serious lifting days came at a time when women were sneered at in the free weight section. Told they didn't know what they were doing, laughed at, and yes, made fun of. You had to really prove yourself and I squatted 200lbs at the time without a grunt or roar. I got lucky - I worked out with the local policemen and partnered with a woman chiropractor who was a competitive power lifter. Yes, I was serious.
And here these women were on Sunday morning. Strong, accomplished, with their babies now grown. Each in their own space, working it. Not to reach an ideal standard from a magazine - but from an internal drive to push their own limits. Ladies I salute you. Personal satisfaction is far more rewarding than waiting to hear it from someone else. Kudos to you. You lift us up with your confidence and sense of self. How great to see just how far we've come.
Having been in a technological black hole for a few weeks I had the opportunity to observe just how far we've come as a society. I foolishly opened an email from someone on the "safe" list and became infected with an insipid virus. The new rule? I've returned to the Scully & Muldar School of "Trust No One".
Living in a time warp without technology was, well, odd. When I reached the point where the virus had now permeated my very way of communicating it was off to the Geeks I go, grateful that I've backed up. At the mid point of my withdraw I high-tailed it to Best Buy & pounced on an iPad. My husband purchased a zippier laptop and we are back among the living in real time.
I can't put this thing down, this iPad. My withdraw morphed into a new addiction with a younger, sleeker model. Am I having a midlife techno crisis? I have a Blackberry and now I want an iPhone. Seriously - how connected can we be? I made the comment that soon we will no longer get mail, paper mail. And I believe that to be true. An entire industry is on the cusp of major change. Books are electronic, learning is at our fingertips. Hopefully information and resources will become more accessible to the masses, and we will use our power for good not evil. We are standing at the edge of the most dynamic shift in the history of communications. And we can now waste more time than any culture before us.
So tweet me, text me, friend me or blog, but instead of sending me a YouTube video of yet another crotch injury or worse....drop me a line that says "Hey how are you? I was just thinking about you."
Because isn't the intent of interpersonal communications to simply connect? Can you hear me now?