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Maybe visiting museums is not doing creative things, but I do think that looking at art is part of living an artistic life. For me, anyway. And it’s inspiring to look at what others create. [Which is another reason I’d like to hear of your creations.]

Midnight Cowboys, David Sherwin Parker

I went to the James Museum in St. Petersburg, FL last night. It’s just a short drive from Clearwater. It was “Teacher Night”. That’s the night that they invite teachers in for a free museum visit and show off the museum as a potential field trip for students.

It really is a wonderful museum, especially if you enjoy western art. And I will admit that art of and about the old west is not my favorite, but even so, I enjoyed it.

Contemporary Native American Artist

Passage III, Dan Namingha

The above painting is one of the artworks that really created a response in me. It is by Tewa-Hopi artist, Dan Namingha. My first impression was a powerful, positive, aesthetically pleasing one. I enjoyed looking at it. Then I read the explanation of the symbolism.

Explanation of symbolism in Passage III

After learning some of the artist’s visual vocabulary, I enjoyed the work even more. I could respond better to the artist’s communication and create my own ideas about it with him; it became a mutually created universe. Then, my imaginings inspired new ideas of my own. This is part of what I love about looking at art.

Enjoyment of Art

My own enjoyment of art is fluid. Not all art moves me. There are moments when I appreciate one style over another, then moments when an entirely different style moves me. Lately, the whimsical or the meaningful abstracts catch my attention.

Talking with Docents

While at the museum, I spoke briefly with several of the docents about the art. This is always fun and interesting. Because they have delved more deeply into the artist’s background and work, they always have more to say about the pieces on display. The docent that I spoke with about Dan Nomingha’s art told me that he has 2 sons who are also artists and whose work she enjoys even more than Dan’s! So now I have more art to explore.

I would highly recommend visiting the James Museum as well as other museums and galleries when you’re in the Tampa Bay area.