My husband and I recently took our three boys to the Oklahoma State Fair to experience the food, rides and animals (in that order). Despite an incredibly busy and exhausting day, I was able to snag an hour alone to enter one of my favorite realms – the art gallery. This underappreciated building is a hidden gem, housing primarily student (or entirely student?) two- and three-dimensional art.
I scanned the drawings, sculptures and graphic art, but what really captured my attention were the photos.
I’ve always appreciated photography and even dabbled in it a bit (via a college class and my own experimentation), but I find that over time I often fall into the same uninspired rut. The rut is me unable to decide what to photograph as I search for some elusive subject.
The beauty of photography is that it takes a three dimensional object or space and morphsit into a two-dimensional image, translating form into shape. With a simple click, instantly a landscape becomes a conglomeration of curves and angles. You’d think that the loss of a dimension would be mean simplification, but often the opposite is true.
The photos that inspired me the most were the ones with the simplest of subjects – things I see every day, things so ordinary they could never be art – or could they? I love these four in particular because they are things I pass by regularly and never recognized as art. A lamp cord. Playground equipment. A merchandise-filled grocery cart. If someone can find art in places so mundane, it leaves me no excuse. I don’t have to travel to a scenic location or organize a photo shoot.
Getting to see exhibits like this reminds me that art is all around us – everywhere. I just have to allow my eyes to see it. And it gives me a little kick in the bum that tells me to get back into the game and start doing something – sometimes making art is hard work, after all (and sometimes it’s just incredibly fun).
I’d love to hear your own findings. In what unexpected places have you discovered art?