WAM Art Chatter: Take-Home

Friday night, I attended an Art Chatter at Wichita Art Museum for the first time; my friend Nina Winter was one of the presenters so I just had to go.  I’m glad I did, too, because all of the artists who talked were so inspiring and gave me a lot to think about…

There were lots of great insights being thrown around that night, and these are just three points that I’ve been thinking about:

Landscape painter Catherine Freshley began her talk by discussing her childhood home in the Pacific Northwest and how she painted this beautiful place she loved as a way of preserving it.  Though not an unusual concept, something about her way of presenting made something click in me, causing me to revisit some of my reasons for creating, and ideas about the purpose of art.  Preservation, I realized, is a big reason for much of what I do (even if I haven’t always articulated it…)

Learning vital skills
Director Sarah Koehn discussed her experiences in the Andover High School Theatre Department.  While talking about how strange and ephemeral the concept of theatre is, she also talked about how vital it is.  Through actively creating and cooperating, the students Sarah works with are not only making art, but learning a plethora of skills necessary for living in this world.  Again, the concept isn’t new, but it did remind me just how important processes are.

Being label-free
Nina (who I would probably call a textile artist or fashion designer, but who won’t say it herself!) discussed, among other great points, the fact that you don’t have to call yourself anything.  Sometimes labels can limit the way you (and others) perceive yourself, and therefore limit your goals and your reach.  Often, I never know if I should call myself an artist or textile designer or what…this was a great reminder that I don’t have to have that part figured out!  Let’s just make stuff, shall we?

What’s been on your mind? Have you read or heard anything recently that suddenly sort of clicked, or made you see something old in a totally new light? I’d love it if you shared!

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Gardener, artist, maker, lover of local and earth enthusiast.

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