Welcome to Gallery 325 in Baraga, Michigan. Thank you for visiting our small art gallery. Would you like some snacks? Punch, coffee? Please sign the guest book before you leave. Thank you.
This month’s theme is Domestic Violence. Let’s think about those who have suffered from domestic violence. Let’s see how folks have created art around this theme in a variety of ways.
The first photo in this blog shows my three photographs (and, of course, a poem) dealing with this challenging subject. It was the first time I’ve entered anything in an art show. I chose three photos…the spirit rock from last year’s outdoor blog (click here and scroll to the third picture), Who Killed Amanda Palmer? (click here and scroll to the last photo) and an angel with missing hands from this year’s blog. Click here to see the angel. The title of my showing was (c’mon who can guess?) Angels.
It was challenging for many of the participants to portray artwork representing this theme. I was super challenged…not having too many photos which fit into the aforementioned topic. But you would be surprised. Many folks entered artwork which displayed forbearance, courage, hope.
Others created pieces which cut to the heart of domestic violence, portraying agony and pain.
It was an enjoyable experience to truly admire all the different works, to see how creativity births itself in different ways through different mediums. We are all so unique!
Perhaps 30-40 people wandered through the gallery between 7-9 p.m. I loved seeing old friends and acquaintances–and meeting new ones. The best part of the evening was talking with a fellow who expressed his challenges with creating art. He feels like a blocked artist. He has so many ideas…but never seems to be able to follow through to create. He feels too much of a perfectionist.
I became super excited and began offering suggestions. How about creating a corner in his house dedicated to Imperfect Art? How about insisting to himself that he can only create Imperfect Art? No perfect art allowed!! Find a corner in the basement–perhaps–and make all sorts of imperfect pieces. How about ten imperfect pieces to start? Then, every time his mind starts carrying on about the art being inferior–he must write the Mind’s judgment on a piece of paper and tape it on the wall.
I told him about the drawing project Kiah and I did this summer. We did a 30-day drawing project. (Never told you regular readers about that, did I?) We drew stick figures, crazy childish scrawlings, baby art! Oh was it imperfect art! It was so imperfect we laughed until we almost fell on the floor in glee. She’s still laughing about the picture I drew of a Yogic guru, and I’m still giggling about her stick figures. Funny, I loved the pic of the guru and she loved her stick figures. Tis all in the eye of the beholder, ye Imperfect Artists!
We do so much violence to ourselves in our internal judgments. Here is the poem I typed and displayed next to my photos. It describes the violence we do to ourselves every single day when we slap, push around and knock ourselves over. Next time you’re tempted to do this to yourself, remember this:
Oh angels, how many hands must break,
how many bruised cheeks turn from the sun?
How many times must you slap yourselves
in the bedroom of your thoughts?
How many jeers must you endure?
How many sleepless nights of despairing earthen feet,
clay around your eyes, the
endless refrain of not being perfect.
Oh angels, no more brutal love—
no more beating yourselves up, pushing sideways
into walls of ancient defenses.
No more domestic violence.
Be gentle, Oh angels, be sweetly gentle
The mirror of the world reflects back
bitter hurled hatred of our inner despair.
Refuse to engage.
When thoughts of self-recrimination rise,
walk by the lake instead.
Let the spirit in the stone sing herself into your
dreams, healing broken pain.
Thank you for visiting the gallery. Help yourselves to more chips and dip before you go. Remember, sign the guestbook! And come back in November to view some Native American works of art. Good night…