Richardson: Local artists are waiting to welcome you to the partyWritten by Rachel Richardson | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“What is your talent?” This is a question I always ask a person I’m trying to get to know better. When they say, “I don’t know … I don’t think I have one … ” I roll my eyes and insist that there is, at least, one thing that they are really good at.
By the way, that’s when they learn that I’m the kind of person who will roll my eyes at someone I am trying to get to know.
So, maybe their talent is not something that is often associated with creativity or performance, but is a unique thing that only he or she has to give. I know a woman who can state the obvious with such concise clarity (and often humor) that she manages to focus everyone’s attention in such a way that they cannot deny the truth of what they may have all been ignoring.
That is a talent.
I also know people who are really good at math. They are like aliens to me, but I recognize that talent nonetheless. My point here is that everyone has something that no one else has, a contribution to this existence that is completely peculiar to them.
Writers know this because they are compelled to put pen to paper. Visual artists know this because they are compelled to paint or sculpt or make a piece of tangible beauty.
The thing that differentiates those with untapped or “hidden” talents from so-called “artists” is that artists feel they have no choice but to create and, beyond that, have the guts to present those creations to the world. The guts are required because every artist is laying themselves bare to some degree to show all of us gawkers (hereafter, I will refer to us as “enthusiasts”) what it is that they need to express.
So, their talents are realized and displayed, but they are still just a human with something to give. Just like the enthusiast. And these two humans need each other.
It’s no secret that I have placed myself, invited or otherwise, directly in the middle of every artist I can find, in order to promote the amount of creative talent we have in Toledo. It just so happens that I am a musician. So, on a level, I have something in common with this community whose party I’ve crashed I feel compelled to purge my inner conversations in a public venue with the hope that my expression will cause an audience to feel something.
But, I can also relate to the enthusiast who wishes like crazy they could tell a story with one photograph or design and craft just the perfect handle for a custom ceramic mug.
Having a foot in each world helps me understand the necessary relationship between the two.
Trust that there is room for everyone here.
Important to understand, for the enthusiast, is that art is never over your head. You don’t have to understand a thing about it.
You simply need to be open to the possibility of feeling something and recognize that the act of expression and its byproducts are intrinsically beautiful.
One of the most wonderful things about Toledo at this very moment in time is that you’re invited to the party! The atmosphere of art galleries and related events is that of welcoming cooperation and community. It is never about pretentions or high society.
Not only are your local artists anxiously awaiting your arrival, but there is even an infrastructure in place to deliver you to the good stuff. The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo is serving all of this amazing talent to you on a silver platter through a number of different programs including Artomatic 419! and periodic Gallery Loops.
One that I hope you take advantage of this week is the perfect introduction for a person who is intimidated but also intrigued by the idea of seeking out art. This Sept. 23 is the final Art Walk of the 2010 season. It is certainly not too late to experience the energy of Downtown during one of these events and to participate in a very accessible display of what your local artists have been up to.
Rachel Richardson is an activist, musician and a product of Toledo. E-mail her at email@example.com.