|Oldest son looks at exhibit in Cedar Rapids Art Gallery. My two sons, a daughter-in-law, my wife and I visited the museum Dec. 26.|
As a communication/journalism professor, I’m in love with the word. I worked as a reporter and editor, and I still do a fair amount of writing in my day job. Plus I write an occasional column for “The Corridor Business Journal” on media.
As part of my journalism career, I did take photographs, and am an amateur photographer now. And that’s about all of my creative endeavors. If it involves a keyboard or a shutter button, I may be OK a the task. If it requires using human opposable thumbs with other tools, you’re not asking the right person.
But, media aren’t just words and pictures. There’s video, of course. And music. Also, art.
|Print of Tolstoy. Tolstoy is also reflected in the print.|
But, just I enjoy the work of those who can sing or play a musical instrument. I also enjoy the work of visual artists who can create provocative objects and images. I am not particularly skilled in either music or art, nor educated in them. So art, to me, is a little like pornography is to the Supreme Court—I can’t articulate very well what it is, but I sort of think I recognize it when I see it.
The day after Christmas 2017, during a very intense cold snap, a daughter-in-law who lives in California and was visiting us along with our son, suggested an outing to the local art museum, The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.
|In Greene Square Park looking towards CR Museum of Art. Picture from my bike blog taken in May 2016.|
|Detail of "Elephant Hunter."|
I like the building itself, too. The art museum’s entrance lobby, which we entered from the “back side” by the parking lot rather than from the side facing Greene Square Park, is an interesting area, particularly as you climb the steps and cross the bridges to get to the second floor galleries.
|Sculpture of French woman peeking into CR Art Gallery.|
When we visit other cities, we often like to tour their art galleries. I think we skipped them in San Francisco because museums there are so pricey, but I’ve wandered around art museums in New Orleans, Kansas City, Des Moines, Omaha, Davenport, Muscatine, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago and Washington, D.C. I don’t always understand everything I see—I’m sure I am not alone in wondering why some modern artistic expressions are even considered “art.” While I like some abstract works, I do like some literal communication and some sense of craft, too.
Art is a mode of communication, but not always as direct as words, I think. Which is one of its pleasures. To be honest, I think even a writer loses control over their creation once it’s published, anyway—readers always interpret things based on their points of view and experience. A story belongs to the audience. But the writing can still create some sense of shared humanity and experience. As can art.
Thanks for the suggestion, Nalena. Going to the art museum over Christmas break was a great idea. After that, we went home, cooked a warm supper and had apple crisp and ice cream. Our day was made complete by the various works of human hands.