I recently spent a few hours in the Orlando Museum of Art. If you haven’t spent time in an art museum lately, I highly recommend it. I am not skilled in art interpretation so I tend to look more superficially at art pieces. I realized during my time there that the same, unfortunately, happens when we view other people.
We don’t have to be skilled at looking at others to see more than what meets the eye. For those who would have viewed me superficially, I would have appeared differently than I intended. I was walking with my arms crossed and not smiling. This wasn’t deliberate or meant to convey how I felt. It just felt natural-I tend to cross my arms rather than leave them dangling at my side. And I am one of those people for whom smiling is an effort. Not because I am mad or unhappy. I am usually caught up in my thoughts if I’m not talking to someone else, so I have to consciously think about what others are seeing in those moments.
We are each a work of art. I believe that we were wonderfully made by a Creator and that He was deliberate in each stroke. He made us different and unique. There is something about seeing someone who doesn’t look like me that may show a different way to be me.
Art looks different up close than it does from far away. From a distance, you may not see the brushstrokes or any uncorrected flaws. You see the whole instead of pieces. It also is easy to make a quick decision about like or dislike, rational or irrational.
Up close, you see flaws, seams, fragments, and texture. You also see the talent and craft that was required to create the piece. More information factors into the interpretation and there is this willingness to accept the imperfect as it contributes to the beauty of the whole.
Art, both the animate and the inanimate forms, are part of the good around us. The inanimate forms can reflect beauty the artist sees in his or her world. They can provide a way to communicate a feeling that can’t be defined in words. The animate forms give us beauty and depth to our relationships. They allow us to appreciate difference and challenge the conventions we define as our norm. Both create a beautiful gallery on this planet.