Although Earth Day is April 22 and Slow Art Day was April 10, carrying the spirit of these days throughout many more may be among the best ways to observe them. Earth Day 2021 includes activities spanning three days, and taking time to linger in a Woodson Art Museum gallery and appreciate art slowly is a good idea year round.
It seems like it was yesterday when I visited the Woodson Art Museum to interview for a summer position as a gardener. It was April 12, 1979, and part of the interview included a Museum tour. One stop was an unfinished room in the lower level filled with colorful artwork and a staff member placing the works in groups. These artworks, it was quickly explained, comprised the Student Art Exhibition, an annual recognition and display of the creative classroom work of area students; the exhibition had just concluded. Cool. One short year later, I was part of the team organizing and installing the exhibition. To ensure the exhibition’s viability, we’ve made major changes and minor tweaks over the past forty-three years but the goal remains to honor the region’s talented art teachers and students.
Two new crayon drawings are hanging on my refrigerator. My darling next-door-neighbor boys, Taylen and Easton, recently brought them over to cheer me up. “Grandma Jane” is thrilled with each new masterpiece added to the collection. At ages 3 and 4, they aren’t hampered by coloring within the lines or using proper colors for the images; they are thrilled with the simple joy of creating. I’m honored to display them. That, too, is true of the artworks in the 38th annual