The political events of the past two weeks may be causing many of us to question what the future holds, not just for our country, but the world at large. Periods of transition are synonymous with stress. In order to keep all of this turmoil in perspective, it can help to take time away from the discourse and give our minds a little space to decompress.
I have a suggestion. Find an art gallery or a museum where you can experience real artwork in person. Just as going to a concert provides a more vital, visceral connection to the music than listening to the radio, standing in front of original artwork provides an opportunity for connection that photos just can’t deliver. In person you can take in the colors, texture and scale of the work as the artist intended. With your mind fully engaged in the forms in front of you, the concerns of the day will be far away.
Another benefit is that you will be in communion with others seeking a similar type of escape and connection. You may even notice a different charge to the air, a shared feeling of joy and relaxation in the midst of creativity and interpretation. When you return to your day-to-day surroundings, my hope is that you will be less stressed and more energized due to the break you have given your psyche. (That’s always how it goes for me.)
The installations of the artist Christo and his wife and partner Jeanne-Claude are all about experiencing the artwork firsthand. While it can be both fun and edifying to read about them, to look at the photos and watch the videos, there is nothing quite like experiencing them in person. The latest installation executed by Christo after the death of his wife is “The Floating Piers” in Lake Iseo, Italy.
I live in a community near the site of a potential future Christo piece called “Over The River” to be installed on the Arkansas River. So there’s a chance that many of us will be able to experience for ourselves the magic his installations create.
In the meantime, I encourage you to seek out that magic for yourself. Turn off the talking heads. Mute the pundits. Find a place to see original art. Get lost in what artists are trying to convey and celebrate the enduring power of art to heal, energize and inspire.