What’s happening at the Library: Heart art

Published 10:37 am Monday, January 29, 2024

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By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

After deciding to write about Inspire Your Heart with Art Day (which is Jan. 31st), I immediately took to the Internet to look for some inspiration. I scoured the Web–Okay, I checked one website called weareteachers. com–and found some quotes that all talk about inspiration. A favorite of mine, attributed to Salvador Dali, is “A true artist is not one who is inspired but inspires others.” That quote seems accurate because the art that I remember is art that also inspires me. 

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One of my favorite works of art is a painting by Edvard Munch called “The Scream.” You might remember it. It’s a picture of a man screaming (or what looks like a man) on a wooden bridge where other indistinct figures stand. The sky above is full of angry reds and oranges, and there might be a blue river or other body of water in the background. The screamer is the most detailed image in the entire painting and what inevitably draws the eye. His (again, assuming it’s his) eyes are wide in horror. His hands are pressed to his face, his eyes are wide and staring, and his mouth is a wide O that seems capable of producing a keening wail that resounds in one’s soul. At least, that is what my imagination says is happening. Some might say that I’m engaging with the art. Others might say the opposite; the art has engaged with me. Perhaps art and the appreciation thereof is a symbiotic relationship, both sides feeding each other. All I know for sure is that I like the picture, and as the rock band The Cramps once said, “I don’t know about art, but I know what I like” (this phrase is also attributed to Orson Wells, and I haven’t found the phrase of weareteachers.com).

Though I like the picture, I can also admit that it makes me uncomfortable, but I don’t mind that. I welcome it. A quote that is on weareteachers.com and is attributed to Lucien Freud that discusses this seeming dichotomy is, “The task of the artist is to make the human being uncomfortable.” While I don’t agree that art is all about discomfort, I do concur that art isn’t just limited to making people happy. Art is there to make people feel a myriad of emotions, everything from happiness to sadness, from anger to contemplative. I don’t get mad at art if it makes me feel a certain way; I simply let myself experience the emotion. I also don’t let myself get bent out of shape if art has us searching for a message or meaning hidden in its brushstrokes or chipped edges, for as Anton Chekov said, once again, according to weareteachers.com, “The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.” I don’t mind art asking me a question nor my mind spending time trying to come up with an answer because, as Banksy said, “art is the greatest form of hope.” I don’t mind the search for an answer if it eventually leads to hope. 

So on Inspire Your Heart with Art day, or any day, view a painting, read a poem, listen to some music, or create a piece of art. If you’re worried about your own talent, don’t worry. According to Bob Ross, “We [artists] don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” Enjoy those happy accidents, everyone. And enjoy theses programs: 

  • On Wednesday, Jan. 31st, at 2 p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show presents a 1991 comedy starring Billy Crystal. On the verge of turning 40, an unhappy Manhattan yuppie is roped into joining his two friends on a cattle drive in the southwest. Rated PG-13, this movie lasts 1 hour 52 minutes. Popcorn and snacks provided. 
  • On Thursday, Feb. 1st, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the library will be having Adult Storytime. Sit, enjoy some snacks, have some fun, and listen to some classic and contemporary stories being read aloud. Feel free to bring your favorite short story to read and share with others. Napping is not allowed because you won’t be able to get to sleep later. 
  • If you want to inspire your heart (and perhaps a special someone’s heart) with art, come to our Valentine Creations for Adults program on Sunday, Feb. 4th, 2:00–4:00 p.m. or Thursday, Feb. 8th, 2:00–4:00 p.m. Please register using Evanced or by contacting the library at 744-5661.