Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Beautiful Piece of Art, A Damaged Soul

"A New Heaven, A New Earth" copyright MMSikes
At the Petersburg Regional Art Center open house this month, I did my usual walk through the main gallery to view the work in the juried show. One piece especially stood out for me. It was a glorious and delicately polished wooden sculpture.

I thought, this belongs in a museum. It was probably the best art piece I've ever seen in a non-museum setting.

Later in the evening, I stood by an easel working on my painting demo when an older black man stopped to talk. It turned out that he was the sculptor who created the fabulous art work that I loved. As we talked, I learned that despite his amazing talent, this artist had not been a success in New York and was unable to find work.

"People were afraid of me," he confided. This was in the 1970s when so much racial turmoil existed.

His comment started me thinking. We judge people by first appearances. We are afraid of certain stereotypes.

Artists are unique people. We see beauty others sometimes overlook. We often care about the work we make and the process we use more that we care about selling the art piece to a stranger.

We are sensitive people. Every comment made can touch us or it can hurt us.

Sadly, we live in a world now where it is not easy to trust a stranger.

Do we have more stereotypes to fear than ever before? I think we do.

Guns are not the answer--having them or not. It doesn't matter.

The answer lies in the children. We need to build a world through them that does not have stereotypes to fear. A world without bullying.

A world where the spirit of an artist is revered.

A world that does not leave an artist with a damaged soul...

--Mary Montague Sikes


Azia said...

this really spoke to me! wow! I have been struggling with many of the same thoughts lately. Thank you for sharing.

Monti said...

Thank you, Azia!

Morgan Mandel said...

What a shame he couldn't get the recognition he deserved!

Morgan Mandel

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Very powerful and true thoughts, Monti.
A lot depends on where we are. I've lived all over the world and some places judge people by skin tone far less than others.

Monti said...

Yes. His art is wonderful. I'll keep looking for more!

Thanks for commenting, Morgan!

Monti said...

That's good to know, Alex. Thanks!

randi lee said...

Hello from a fellow IWSGer! Very wise post. Shame about the man who couldn't find work...but I agree. The children are the future and paving the way for them is an important part of propelling society forward.

Monti said...

Thanks, Randi. It is up to us to lead the children in a positive direction.