Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Art has Power

Many emerged from their homes, eyes not used to that foreign orb in the sky, to an October Saint-John-summer-like-day making them amiable and thirsty for anything outside of the confines of their residences.  That meant many strolling the uptown sidewalks, alert for anything that fills more than their survival need, opening the space in their minds to the satisfaction the arts can provide.

Whether or not they realize art is a need, though not necessarily primal or immediate, they become more willing to entertain the thought of spending good currency that has accumulated in their bank accounts.  That's when they will enter such a radical place as an art gallery.

Early afternoon saw two young girls enter cautiously, skillfully scanning for the dangers new territory can provide, sporting backpacks and soft vinyl lunch boxes.


A smile lit the first girl's face and her posture became noticeably relaxed, "Hi."  They began to take in the treasures around them.

"Oooh," followed by some murmurs as the girl pointed to something on a shelf so her also-Asian friend would take notice.

They moved on past the boutique to the gallery section, drinking in the paintings.

Coming full-circle, the girl stopped at the cash to inquire about the item that first caught her attention.

"Is Meaghan Smith CD for sale or part of the display?" she asked quietly, in good, but somewhat broken English.

"It is for display.  If you really want it, I could probably sell it to you and order another from Amazon though, that's where I purchased that one."

"Oh.  Yes, please.  I tried to get it at HMV, but they said they don't carry any of Meaghan Smith's anymore.  They told me I would have to buy it from Amazon, but I don't have a credit card.  I could pay with debit?"

"The miniature paintings with the CD are also by Meaghan Smith.  Do you follow her on Facebook?"

"Yes, they are so cute.  She very talented."

"Is $15 for the CD okay?"  I couldn't remember how much I paid, but thought that should cover it... I ended up being off by 75 cents... I'm not going to make money this way!

 "Yes.  Thank you very much."

She left the store atwitter, like something you'd see in a '50's teen movie, with her friend, only having to return a couple hours later to retrieve the lunch bag she left behind.

"Oh, sorry," as I passed her the square case, "I was too excited," she explained apologetically.

In between her visit I was pleased to welcome a lovely lady we lease a parking space from to our studio.  Being the beginning of the month, she was nice enough to offer to come by for her money so she would be able to see this new entity.

As I offered information about our artists and artisans, we were both able to share some personal details and thoughts about our lives and the places and people that inhabit them.

"I like this a lot," as she paused at one painting.

"He's from Fredericton.  I like his work very much and that is one of my favourites."

Fingers to lip, as she took a slow step back to absorb the piece.  "Yes.  That is nice."

She turned and continued to take in the rest of the works as I tutored about the artists.

"I don't like that stuff," pointing.  "That sort of stuff doesn't appeal to me."

"No, art has to speak to you and they all have different conversation styles."

We were back at the front and I took out my wallet to pay for October's parking."

Almost surprised, she said, "I'd like to place that as a deposit on that painting I like."

Art has that power, that ability to touch you when you're not expecting it, but are mentally open to the possibilities.

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