In a modern world where our senses are constantly bombarded with sounds and images, why should we value art? As an art historian, I find myself regularly defending abstract paintings that people say, "my child could paint that!" But, "no," I reply, "your child can't do that because he is not experiencing the same conditions in the same context as that artist did!"
I was told that most museum visitors spend an average of six seconds in front of a painting. For those that can't develop a story or don't know the history behind a piece of art, it is difficult to connect with the artist's idea and why it matters. If for no other reason, art matters because it gives us moments of escape from the daily hustle of our many responsibilities. Whether we connect with a piece in deep understanding or we simply like it as a "pretty picture," art provides us with a different perspective of the world around us.
At The Cabell Gallery, we primarily sell plein air paintings and it is truly amazing how each artist imbues their work with love and emotion that we, as the viewer, can feel. We have several paintings of Rockbridge county landmarks like Lee Chapel, House and Jump Mountains but each one comes from a different perspective. Each artist has a different connection with their chosen location or subject and that reminds me of my own emotional connection and how it may differ from that of the artist. As a native Lexingtonian, I often take this town and its beautiful surroundings for granted, so for me, taking a moment to analyze these paintings provides me with a new appreciation through someone else's eyes.