Working in the Presence of Art

By: lywam on August 25th, 2009

I’ve heard it so many times: “Wow, you get to work here. You get to see all this artwork daily!?” Yes, I do and it isn’t something I take for granted. There is something very therapeutic and energizing about being surrounded by beautiful things. The most mundane tasks seem just a little more enjoyable in their presence. And when the weather is less than enjoyable or my mood is less than jovial – a dose of art helps to readjust my outlook.

I wonder if I’m in better mental health because of where I work? I’d venture to say “Yes.”

Even though I work at the Woodson Art Museum, it’s not like I get to hang out in the galleries with the art all day. As Maceo Parker sings: “I’ve got work to do!”

In fact, I’m kind of jealous of colleagues who get more time with the art then I do – mostly the curators and the guards.

Sometimes I daydream about being some kind of “mad” curator, locking myself in a vault with all the art, and displaying and rearranging art for my sole enjoyment.

As entertaining as this mental image is (I’m holding back chuckles as I write), the root of my love of art comes from the interaction we have with it.

I love the wonder and awe Museum visitors have when they realize Kua is bronze and not driftwood; the discovery and delight my 9-½-month-old son has every time he visits Art Park; and the constant quest for knowledge that every changing exhibition means for me.

For these reasons and many more, I so enjoy working in the presence of art.

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