Gary’s June Gems – The Keeping Good Company With ART Issue
Title: Alchemy #1 – Apple Tree Spring + Fall, Matthew Belge
…And by Art, I don’t mean the guy next door who never returned my set of Allen keys. I mean art as in this beautiful work I recently became the proud owner of. It’s a photograph that truly speaks to the way I view the healing capacity of art and nature. Aside from my obvious bias towards the colour orange, this example of fine art photography by Matthew Belge represents the natural cycle of nature and makes me think of how small we are as players in the greater circle game.
As I was thinking about the theme for this month’s gems, I was walking around the house with a cosmo in hand and revisiting the selection of visual art that Earl and I had mounted in our home. We’re into our 14th month of lockdown. I can’t escape to my Secret Garden because of the construction work on our building. Art is now my refuge.
We are surrounded by art; it’s part of our everyday personal and business lives (Art for Healing). Before the pandemic, we had many distractions – going out, socializing at home and chillin’ in the secret garden. Now, Art has become my company. If it’s an artwork I had for a long time, it’s like an old friend. Conversation or contemplation isn’t always necessary – there’s contentment in knowing the other is there. As with a new acquaintance, if the artwork is fairly new, then more energy is given to exploring it by wondering the intent of the artist, its history – you know, the type of questions we might ask in a bar (if memory serves) like, “Hang here, often?” “
When I’m surrounded by art, the world is a better place and I’m motivated to be a better person.
It can inspire awe or nausea, elicit a smile or a tear. Whatever its effect, Art communicates.
It’s been doing that for over 300,000 years. We’ve been expressing ourselves through drawing, dance and music since Fred Flintstone scratched “Kilroy was here” on his cave wall. It’s part of our DNA to share, to express ourselves.
Art is universal because hurt, happiness, love, hate, and sadness live in everyone.
The Art for Healing, the foundation that Earl and I started over nineteen years ago is a testament to how art can change lives. It can gift hope and soothe sorrow.
I’ll leave you with a message from Earl, my husband and co-founder of Art for Healing for further insight into the very real effect that something as abstract and ethereal as a work of art can have on people.
“In early 2001, a friend of ours was dying at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. We noticed on our visits how bleak his surroundings were. The walls were a barren dessert of beige. They cried out for help.
We knew that the staff and administration’s focus was on caring for the ill. It was obvious, as we made our way through the bleak hospital corridors, that we would pivot from our dream to open a gallery to a mission of bringing art to people – especially those most in need of a distraction from constant reminders that they are sick.
The Art for Healing Foundation launched in February 2002, and right from the beginning people “got it”. We took advantage of our connections and the bounty of art stored all over the city to install over 13,000 works of art in 87 healthcare institutions across Canada as well as in Paris, France. All of the artwork we place is donated by artists, art collectors and universities. We witness daily the power of art to inspire and heal people confined to healthcare facilities.“
Art whether visual, written, musical, dance or multi-media is a gift. It comes amplified through the soul of an artist and received by the soul of anyone tuned to its frequency. It’s broadcast in the language of universal feelings. Google Translate or Webster dictionary are useless because each message is coded for each individual consumer.
I wish you a jubilant June as we make our way into the sunshine of summer.