I love art. I mean, I really, really love it. I think my love began through exploring art museums with my mom. Growing up we had the chance to travel a lot, and my amazing mother took me to art museums all over the place.
I remember one visit in particular. It’s not the museum I remember, it’s just one painting that’s vivid in my mind. It was a painting of a huge landscape with pilgrims leaving their homes and extended families to go overseas. It wasn’t the beauty of the painting I remember, but the fact that I stood in front of it with my mom while she was reading the description to me, tears welling up and spilling over her eyes thinking of those pilgrims leaving their dear friends and families they may never see again. And as I stood there next to her, I realized art is amazing. It can create something so much bigger than itself…such emotion, such feeling. I think it was right then and there I realized it: I was in love with art.
I went on to take this Art History class at Boston University that almost convinced me to major in art. I’d spend hours and hours at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (my very favorite museum) gazing at paintings and writing papers about every minute detail I found. I even loved the tests where we sat in a huge auditorium and had to name hundreds of pieces of art (and the artists who created them) that came up on the projector. I loved writing the essays. I loved thinking about what that artist may have been thinking. Why he/she painted the way they did. What emotion were they trying to evoke?
One summer (when I was eight months pregnant with Elle) my mom took me and my sisters to Italy to see all the famous works. I will never forget that time we had together drinking in things like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s “prisoners” escaping from their marble prisons.
But I didn’t major in Art. I’m not a docent at a famous museum. Instead I’m settled down in the middle of suburbia with five little kids. And really the only “famous” original art works I’ve seen lately are the ones my kids have made, hung proudly all over our laundry room.
BUT, I do get to be involved in the creation of art because I get to be the Art Masterpiece volunteer for each of my kid’s classrooms. I sign up every year. What this means is that I go into each classroom once a month and help the kids study out a famous art masterpiece, then we do a project to go along the same lines as what we’ve studied. I’m not the mom who signs up to chaperon all the field trips. Oh I wish I could do that, and so do my kids as evidenced by their begging. But I still have two little kids at home I need to be with. So I do art. And we all love it.
We just had our big “Art Walk” last week. And the fact that everything that could go wrong trying to get these bulletin boards up and ready for the big night did go wrong, it was all worth it because guess what? I got to share what I love with my kids.
I love art. I love that my kids love it too.