Our recent youth art show was a hit! Great venue, great art, great food and guests – but there is a dynamic to the whole scenario that surpasses them all! For you ‘bottom liners’, it’s the work of the Master Artist shaping, reforming and molding lives. That is the real deal.
One of the gals with yellow spiked hair took the art group camera and just started taking pictures of people, artwork and activities. Another young man took opportunity to play the guitar and sing. A second guitar was picked up and strummed. One of the girls shared some poetry about life on the street, and another gal sang Janis Joplin’s hit “Lord wontcha buy me a Mercedes Benz.” People from the community mulling and commenting about the art and reviewing its impact. Art hanging from the ceiling, art displayed on the tables, spoken word and song… and then, well you know I’d come back to it, the living art that made the art.
Moving. Stirring. Amazing. All of the above.
One piece in particular grabbed my attention. An old school Polaroid camera with some instructions written and taped near the viewfinder, “Look here.” Another message taped on the side of the camera said, “One picture doesn’t tell the story.” Curiousity aroused, I took a peek.
The viewfinder revealed one photograph of a young man sitting on a curb. No distinctive expression on his face. Nothing particular about his appearance, dressed in shirt and jeans. Not ‘flying a sign’ or cap inviting donations. Just a young man sitting on the curb.
Ah, then I remember the ‘one picture doesn’t tell the story’ line and my mind races forward at light speed. How true, not just of this one young man, but the larger picture (sorry about that) about life. What you see in a moment, what you experience in one interaction, what you can assess or glean from one brief conversation – does not even begin to tell the story.
Then I got angry at myself: how many times have I had the audacity to analyze, scrutinize and evaluate from one brief glimpse, from one short encounter? Far too many for me to recount here. How many times have I made my assessment from one snapshot? Instances started to flood my mind and my head was spinning.
I held the Polaroid at arms’ length, its message penetrating deep into my own soul. I really don’t know much about art, but something was happening here…
The Master Artist was doing a bit of reshaping in me…
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