Exhibiting art can be considered a completion of the art-learning process. It expands the context in which our art exists. We see it from a larger perspective. We see it at a distance and up close and over an extended period of time. We see it in relation to our other work and to the work of others. It raises ideas. Aesthetics and expression are explored more in depth than in our talk-backs. It is the opportunity to be “hit” by the impact of a work of art as it hangs, dressed for show, on the wall. It is a chance to hear how other people perceive art–our art.
Aye, there’s the rub. In inviting feedback, there is an opportunity to recognize the value of your own art through the appreciation shown by an audience. But the possibility exists that the audience does not show the appreciation we all hope for. And that may or may not reflect the actual merit of the work. It is a very hard thing to know. Despite the larger context and distant perspective, we remain too close and the subjectivity of the viewers cannot be anticipated.
If we truly have a unique vision, a unique point of view and we express it as authentically as we know how, it is all we can do. But it may not be understood by others or even by you—yet. Van Gogh’s greatest legacy is being the supreme example of an artist whose expression is so genuine, so universal it continues to speak to enthusiastic followers long after his short life and “career” as an artist ended. Yet while he painted his champions were few. We may never know ultimate value of what we do.
The lesson remains in the doing and in the looking, observing all in order to inform. Take this opportunity to be empowered and motivated by your own paintings. You all dig deep at this time and the work unfolds. It is very exciting to watch.
I am so looking forward to this exhibition.