gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: quarantine

Public art

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Copy-of-Copy-of-Yestermorrow-2B-scaled

Mark Blanchard, Yestermorrow-2B

Public art can sometimes be overlooked because of its place in an open space – not confined by walls or curated as part of an exhibition, standing in conversation with other works around it and all encapsulated by a an aligning thread. I think we’re certainly developing a stronger appreciation for public art these days since museums and galleries  have been closed for the past few months. Not only is it of great value for public art to be admired more emphatically, but it’s also an important reminder that art is for everyone and not only to be accessed, in many cases, by paying for a ticket to get in to a museum.

This article about public art in Chicago by Luke Fidler in New City Art magazine struck me for its simple message conveying our appreciation for public art in a very thoughtful way. I only wish that I always appreciated it so much and that it didn’t take these circumstances to serve as the catalyst.

To be moved and made to think: I’ve always known that public art can do these things, but I’m more grateful now than ever for its capacities. – Luke Fidler

As the streets have been more deserted than usual, we have the opportunity to sit with public works of art more intimately than before – to spend more time with them and get to know them better.

 

Virtual voyages

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One of the biggest disappointments for people amid this pandemic has been the cancelled travel plans and not knowing when we’ll able to plan a trip again in the future. I really enjoyed this article by Reif Larsen in the New York Times advocating for virtual travel since, well, it’s our only option right now. I especially liked his virtual voyage to Charleston, SC with his son because I went there last winter with my parents and we were enamored by its southern charm. His voyage was powered by Google Street View, which albeit is amazing that we’re able to see the world through the lens of Google, it doesn’t compare to being there and feeling the history and beauty around you. I admire Larsen’s creativity in recreating the trip as much as possible, complete with landing at the airport and getting a rental car to navigate through Charleston.

Larsen also identifies why we travel in the first place, which is not only to see places we want to explore, but also, or perhaps mainly, to chase that ever elusive feeling of getting away –

“This is why we travel: to force ourselves to take a breath, to bend space and time, even if just for a moment. We go there so we can come back and appreciate the here.”

The not being able to get away that we’re experiencing right now is wearing down on all of us. In an effort to find new ways to get away, maybe we consider how spending time at home, which we might not normally do, can be our new refuge. Instead of resenting our homes because we have no choice but to be there, let’s try to embrace them and treat them like the humble escapes they can be. I personally love my new lifestyle of spending more time at home and all of the warm cozy feelings that go along with being at home, including endorphin-producing bonding opportunities with pets (who seem to enjoy this newfound abundance of company and time together just as much, if not more, then we do).

A positive effect of the quarantine is a healthier and more sustainable environment, at least for now while many continue working from home and generally staying put more than usual. This certainly makes a good case for virtual voyages rather than contributing to pollution with air travel and car travel.

Larsen also points out that there are other ways to travel other than exploring physical places. Reading a piece of literature can take you on a voyage to a real or imagined place. Or create your own story about whatever kind of magical place your imagination allows. These seem to be lost arts, but worth revisiting in a time like this.