That Gentle Rustle You Hear? It’s the Sound of Monet Rolling Over in His Grave
“I love this place,” breathed Paco, looking around in wonder. “There are zombies and aliens everywhere.”
Of course there were.
We were at the end-of-semester community college art show.
Speeding up to a trot, Paco cruised down the concourse, calling, “Hurry up! Here’s a Super Mario made out of mosaics! Come ON. You won’t believe what some of these students were able to make. Look, there’s a chair made out of pop cans! And a mask in the shape of a devil’s head! Wait, and then someone put a baby in a bucket and took a picture! I wish we could buy it all!”
While uncountable pieces in the art show induce eye-rolling exchanges between me and my husband, we do delight in Paco’s untrained taste, which makes him the perfect audience for artistic work that grows out of, ahem, untrained taste. For many participants and onlookers, it’s their first brush with creation and appreciation.
Of course, there are many pieces in the show that grow out of talent and skill; there is much to look at that is lovely, arresting, worthwhile. Even the efforts that aren’t perfectly accomplished are often interesting, for they mark points on a continuum that runs, on one end, from airplanes made of beer cans to, on the other end, professional pottery. A student art show makes visual all the bumps and jolts inherent in the learning process.
For Groom, who took Watercolor, Art History II, and Digital Photography II this semester (he’s finishing out some generals at the college where I teach before he launches himself towards another degree in the next few years), the classes have been challenging and fun–have put him onto that continuum somewhere between the fledgling “Look, Ma, I scratched out a parrot” student and one who pounds out impressive metalworked pedants.
Here. See? This is some of his work: