Metro, Featured Column, Column, Arts

Finding the Value in all Art

On my many trips looking out the windows of the E line, I always admire Boston’s renowned museums. The city’s thriving art scene reminds me of how I grew to appreciate art, and how it has impacted my life.

Before beginning the roller coaster ride that was my teenage years, I lived an innocent life without having a care in the world. These were simpler times where I spent the majority of my time on playdates and at tennis lessons.

Elementary school was a place where effort was valued over excellence. Evidently, my favorite subject was always phys. ed. It was just like recess where I could run around and play soccer or four square with my friends. Not to mention it was a nice getaway from memorizing times tables and practicing cursive.

While P.E. was my best subject, art was certainly my worst. The class activities consisted of drawing bugs, painting self-portraits, and molding clay pots. I normally enjoyed the class but couldn’t transfer the amazing ideas I had in my head onto paper.

I remember there were always kids in my class that had a knack for art and made these masterpieces. As for the rest of us, it was art only our moms could love. I never made anything that actually looked good but nonetheless, when I brought it home from school, my parents treated it like a Picasso.

Despite my artistic shortcomings, I continued taking art classes through middle and high school and started making things that weren’t terrible. My preferred medium was painting with acrylics on canvas, depicting expansive landscapes.

One particular painting was so well-received by my parents that images of my work circulated over email throughout my extended family. As a result, my biased grandfather immediately thought I was an artist, and encouraged me to pursue it further.

Through these art classes growing up, I not only learned that I have an overly supportive family, but I also gained a deeper appreciation for art. Through my travels, I’ve been able to visit museums and view the work of famous artists like Monet and Matisse.

Walking through an art gallery gives you a sense of the expertise and historical significance of the artwork. Having attempted to create art myself, I can better appreciate the attention to detail and artistry that makes the artwork so renowned.

My parents share the same appreciation for art as I do. They filled our home with modern abstract art that pops off the walls. The simplicity of abstract art allows one to recognize the vivid colors and textures that are placed around the canvas.

Together, the pieces of art create a certain ambiance which reflects my parents’ distinct taste. When it came to revamping my bedroom, I handpicked wall art to help fit the aesthetic I had in mind. The art reflects my personal style and accents the contemporary decor of the room.

In addition to the modern and sophisticated paintings that adorn the living room walls, my parents also keep their more sentimental pieces of art scattered around their bedroom. My mum keeps a volcano shaped vase I made in a sculpture class on her dressing room table while my  dad uses the hideous painted rock I made as a paperweight on his desk. These are the pieces I made for them over the years and are the ones they value the most.  

I had no idea that after all those years of bringing art home from school and giving it to my parents, that over 10 years later they have kept everything. Looking back, I’m glad that the artwork I made were not masterpieces. What makes them so special is that they had character and were made with love. Even though my parents’ abstract paintings are beautiful, I know they wouldn’t think twice if they had to choose between something I made and something they bought.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning

February 15, 2017

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