the returns of art

by Ben Chlapek

by Ben Chlapek

Art, what art thou? For a while now, we have been wondering about the importance of art. You may be surprised that we ponder such questions but, truth be told, we wouldn’t be an art gallery if we were not asking those questions. They are refreshers. They are reminders. They are rejuvenators.

Well, today, it was not a question but a group of 20 students from the Missouri Scholars Academy who reminded us about the importance of art. The joy it brought onto their faces is magical and something to behold. As adults, we sometimes forget the little joys art brings us because it can have an unsettling effect. Those young high school students were elated at a title. They were amazed, as they approached, to see the Martincic bathing suit is made out of paper. They were “fooled” because they were open to being “fooled”. They allowed themselves to be taken. They met the object of art with the openness of one who discovers a land for the first time. No baggage! No fear! Only possibility!

This feeling is not restricted to young high school students. Art is democratic and its language is universal. It speaks to the dormant child in all of us. It wakes it up to reconnect it not only with the world but us as well. It is the dormant child who gives us back hope in the world. Art gives us hope because it appeals to man’s greatness. In a speech, Kevin Spacey reminded us of that. “Art and creativity are one of the most significant ways that humanity uses to fight back against and lift itself out of the muck, and the dirt, and the grime, and the horror, and the unfairness of political persecution, racist attack, hatred, intolerance, and downright cruelty.”

Art can only do its job if we let it, if we are open to its magic.  Art comes with the sweet melody of milk and honey. Art invades and conquers because it brings only blessings.

To the one who allows art to enter one’s world, it will elevate.

By bringing art to our community, we fulfill an important function for we are art’s humble servants. Our gallery provides a space where everyone, including our Missouri Scholars, can keep the child from being dormant.

That’s why we ask ourselves questions.


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