I’ve never been particularly concerned with creating art. This lack of interest in the creation, however, seems to be overridden by my love of actual art. I’ve always loved looking at art. One of my best memories from a trip to Florida with my dad and brother isn’t the time we spent on the beach or seeing manatees, but wandering through the exceptionally lovely Ringling Museum of Art. Although the name Ringling automatically conjures images of circuses, that only scratches the surface of what the museum offers.

Of course, loving art museums and having beautiful pieces of art in your home aren’t necessarily synonymous. Throughout college my walls were decorated like that of a typical student–a few posters with fraying edges (including a poster of John William Waterhouse’s  “The Lady of Shalott“) and a lot of snapshots. But what would not have been apparent was that I was amassing a collection of art behind the scenes.

It started small, with a few antique photographs from a great Buffalo antique store. But then it began to grow. I added a few prints from Etsy, and a few broadsides that my college’s Books Arts center produced. I invested in a few pieces from 20×200, which makes art affordable to people like me who value original art but can’t necessarily afford more expensive pieces.

Of course, my family always supported art. I grew up surrounded by art that my parents liked, and they took me to plenty of art galleries where my appreciation grew. While kids do take art classes in school, they tend to be more focused on art production and less on art history. For kids who may not enjoy the actual process of painting, try engaging them through art history. It might be their way into the awesome world of art. Don’t be discouraged if your kids don’t initially get into it. After all, I find modern art a little bit off-putting while I love older portraits and textually-based works. It’s all about exposing people to as many kinds of art as possible.

What are some of your favorite pieces of art to share with others?

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Filed under Academic Advice, My Experiences

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