Thursday, November 17, 2011

Phoenix Art Museum

While I was in Arizona, I visited the Phoenix Art Museum. I was excited it was nearby the convention center where I was attending the design conference, so I decided to walk there when I had a couple hours to myself. It was near lunch time, the sun was bright overhead (as it is everyday in Arizona) and I set out on my journey.

However, it happened to be 98 degrees and rising (literally), as I walked down the sidewalk, lugging a tote bag filled with papers, my camera AND my purse. I started to question the 1.5 mile walk, seeking the shade of every building I could. But I had already committed. I wanted to go to the art gallery. I must press on.

At last, I reached the gallery and it was air conditioned!

It was worth the sweat I broke, because I got to see some real art. Framed masterpieces by famous artists throughout the centuries. Not computer generated imposters or calendar reproductions. 

They have quite a collection of western American art. 

European and American pieces, straight out of art history.

Georgia O'Keeffe

Modern sculptures

Contemporary art

They even had this piece, which I immediately recognized as "Panther Devouring a Hare" by Antoine Louis Barye. Gruesome, I know, but this was one of the first pieces I had to memorize in Art History 101, and for whatever reason, it just stuck with me. With a name and visual like that, it's hard to forget!

And best of all, this beautiful Monet. 

The gallery was quite large with an extensive collection. If you ever have the chance, I recommend going. As a designer, it was so inspiring to walk around a gallery, by myself, taking time to admire at each piece. Taking it all in. Enormous paintings. Intricate sculptures. Detailed drawings. The color. The texture. The light. The form. Artists with talent beyond my comprehension. It felt good to stand face to face with "real" art, instead of behind a computer monitor using a mouse to control line and color. These artists dipped brushes into paint and hand depicted every line and shadow. No live trace, Photoshop, or scanners. They did it the hard way. The real way. Today, we have so many shortcuts and quick fixes literally at our fingertips. Real art takes time and dedication to craft. Sometimes that's easy to forget. 

I think I need to visit galleries more often.

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