An artful idea

Friday, April 8, 2011

We're all friends here, right? Because I need to get something off my chest. Make a confession, you know?

Up until Tuesday, I had never bought an original piece of art. I have posters with images by famous painters. I have my own photographs framed and hanging on my walls. I have a few reproductions of work by a South American painter I bought while studying in Ecuador.

But I have never been persuaded to buy an original piece of art. Until now.

I am the proud new owner of "Idea?" by Amber Taylor.

I saw the piece in the annual Juried Student Exhibition at the River Campus. The show had dozens of pieces by Southeast Missouri State University students picked to be on display. My piece is one of the first ones you see when you walk in the door to the gallery in Crisp Museum.

I moved into an office here in the newsroom and the No. 1 question I heard was "What are you going to put on the walls?"

This is a lot of pressure. Two of my four walls are glass, so everyone who walks by will see my choices and judge me. Do I want to inspire them? Energize them? Calm them down? Make them laugh? Think?

Two months later, my walls remain bare. I've been tempted to hand a marker to everyone who asks me about the walls and say "What are you going to put on the walls?"

The building supervisor did not find that funny.

I went to the Crisp show and the Salon de Refuses style show in the Seminary Art Gallery with purchase in mind. Some of the ones I liked were not for sale, but "Idea?" was.

Amber Taylor, a junior graphic design major with a minor in marketing management, had created the piece for a student research show on campus. It wasn't chosen for that show, but the judges picked it for this student show.

She said when she created it, she just kept thinking about an idea -- searching for an idea, getting an idea, exploring what the idea is. Well done, Amber, because that's exactly what I read from the graphic print and exactly what inspired me to buy it for my office.

It's perfect. After all, aren't we all just little creatures trying to harness an idea?

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