Art, Perspective, and Life

Denver is an art town! It has a vibrant arts culture. On any given day you can visit galleries, museums, open mics, poetry slams, and a host of other creative events. The Art Students League of Denver offers a host of art classes in many mediums providing the community with affordable ways to explore their creativity. One of the things I most enjoy is the 1St Friday Art Walk.

The 1st Friday Art Walk, an evening when the galleries are open late and many new exhibits are debuted. It definitely has a festive feel and is an enjoyable way to see a lot of art in one evening experiencing the worldview and perspective of various artists.

The city of Denver honored Printmaking. There were exhibitions, classes, artist talks and workshops devoted to printmaking. It shouldn’t be a surprised that many galleries had print works on display. There are many ways to print and that’s the beauty of the medium.

I met someone I knew while touring the galleries and we decided to explore the art walk together. He’s a landscape architect and I’m a textile artist, two very different mediums. I didn’t know how our points-of-view would mix, but I was up for the creative adventure.

We came across the work of Mary Mackey, www.marymackeyart.com, who had various size works of art in the exhibition. There was a grouping of nine black and white prints that were beautiful individually, but when you took it as one piece of art made it magnificent. The different sizes of Mackey’s work were intriguing along with her vacillation between black and white and works of color.

Then we came across a piece that was intriguing. The colors and the shapes were terrific. We stood back to look at the piece and then we began to discuss it. I saw the work as a grouping of buildings, a cityscape. He saw the print as a park, resembling Central Park in New York. Why did we see it differently?

Each of us looked at the work form our own mediums perspective. We each have a lens through which we interpret visual cues. In this case, I was looking as the shapes head on as if it were in front of me, and he was looking at it from an aerial view, like a blueprint he was designing.

We were both standing before the same work and had different experiences. The beauty of art is interpretation. If you’re the creator it’s about the process and the story. If you’re the viewer it’s about how the work fits into the context of your life.

The beauty of seeing art is you can create your own stories. You are given the gift of adventure as you explore new mediums and allow the art to serve as a cue for events in your life and experiences. Consider taking someone with you the next time you go to an art exhibition. Discuss each of your perspectives and see where they converge and diverge. Explore the possibilities.

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