Ode to art


Sam Nelson

Art can take many different shapes, and it is imperative that we recognize and appreciate the beauty of all forms.

Georgia Sampson, Staff Writer

It can be color on top of color, or black and white. It can be abstract shapes or delicately drawn lines that paint a broader picture.

  Art is hard to define. However, we know it when we see it.

  We all know the feeling of getting goosebumps when we see a certain picture, watch a certain performance or hear a certain chord played. We all know that feeling of complete adoration, love and sometimes a little jealousy over seeing a piece and wanting to be part of it.

  Art is all around us.

  It’s dance. Whether it’s a prima ballerina or an interpretive dancer taking the spotlight, the dancer is on stage for one reason only: to express themselves.

  It’s music. Everything from Beethoven to Lil Yachty is an expression of some sort. We often don’t think about music when we think about art, however it is often the art form that we cherish most.

  It’s theatre. “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” “Our Town,” all of this is art. Theatre may be a form of entertainment, but it doubles as a story that carries the audience to a specific emotion.

  It’s poetry. It is one of the finest literary arts because we need it. We need poetry to help us understand that feelings are part of living.

  Art is all around us and can help us realize the beauty in the world.

  When I was younger, I didn’t respect art nearly as much as I should have.

  However, that changed when I got the opportunity to understand why I should respect it. In fourth grade, my father took my brother and I to the Art Institute in Chicago for the first time. As we went throughout the museum, I became more and more entranced. By the end of the day, I had seen Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, Picasso and so many more and my father pointed out that we had probably all we could want to see at that moment.

  We went to leave and as we were climbing up the staircase that led us to the exit, I turned around and felt my heart leap. On the wall of the stairway leading up to the modern American art wing, stretching out across the wall, is Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Sky Above Clouds IV.”

  This was one of the first times that art took my breath away. The culmination of the variety of colors that worked together to contrast the pure white clouds to form a breathtaking image of the sun rising. But what is most impressive about this image is the time that O’Keeffe put into this piece. O’Keeffe later said that she worked on the painting “every minute from 6 a.m. till 8 or 9 at night as I had to be finished before it was cold.”

  This piece taught me that each piece of art, no matter what form it comes in, has a dedication and devotion behind it.

 But what is better than that is this image of what some may think of as a simple sky showed me that things we see every day can fall under the category of beautiful; all we need to do is open our eyes.

  Since seeing this piece, I do my best to look at the beauty around me and appreciate the world. I acknowledge the awesome power that art holds in the world around us. And I encourage others to do the same.

  So whether it is dance, music, theatre or poetry, in color or in black and white, we owe art and those who contribute to it a huge “thank you!”