I Believe in Art Saints by Ana Flores - I know people who�ll make courageous innovative efforts to have art in their lives. They�ll eat peanut butter for a year in order to pay off an artist month by month for a piece they�ve bought. They believe art is necessary food for their soul. As an artist, I love these kind of people, I call them art saints and this year I�ve been lucky enough to have a few in my life. Andrew, a new friend, called last summer six weeks before his second marriage to speak to my husband and me. �Friends keep asking us about a wedding registry and Megan and I�ve decided we don�t need another blender so we�d like to list your web sites as our registry. With the funds collected we�ll commission a work by each of you. What do you think?� I paused, stunned. �We�d love to create pieces for your new home and what a great idea- registering with artists instead of pottery barn!� Over the next three months fourteen friends registered and a �village� of patrons blossomed ea- ger to see the work we�d make for the unique spaces that he and Megan had designed together. Luli is another saint. �I�d rather invest in something I love rather than the stock market,�she told me as we sat in her terraced garden. She�d spent a decade transforming this overgrown hillside along the Hudson River. �I want to see one of your pieces there�. She pointed to a space be- tween two trees. �The cost of bronze is like gold these days.� I warned. She was unfazed, excited instead by the prospect of watching the sculpture grow. Unfortunately there�s not enough saints to go around for so many artists, but an art collecting idea I learned about when we lived in New Zealand might offer a template for collecting on tight budgets. While there I met the Stitchbury club, fifteen women from Auckland whose focus was contemporary three dimensional work ranging from jewelry to outdoor sculpture. Each contributed a set amount annually to their art bank. Every month - like a book group�they ga
A flower from my garden is the symbol I chose to represent my spirituality. The dirt and the roots gives me a feeling of being grounded, connected to the earth. The flower reaches up to God - opening to the radiance of love. I feel close to God when I am in my garden witnessing the miracles and the cycles of life - seeding, nurturing, growing, fading away, resting, rebirth.
The box could not hold it all, so I brought a box of my own: a Hercules Gunpowder Box, a fitting repository for my spirit. The plants are from my garden, my solace, my center, my place to connect to the bounty and wonder of the Universe. I filled my box with old wounds, many half-healed. Even as I stand under the lights, my back aches from the car crash. I question myself and my right to be here. I question my creative fire. But on top of it all is a small wooden box, carved by my brother out of a single chunk of cedar. He carved it for me when I was young and full of boundless rage � some of it directed at him. He carved it with love, as an act of contrition that I did not come to fully understand until years after he had died. It is the most precious thing I own, this box. It represents hope and compassion for the wounded parts of me. ~Stephen R.