Friday, January 27, 2012

Art is an everyday part of our lives

By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — Every year about this time, I start to think about something Kelley Hestir reminded me of several years ago, when she and Miriam Lozada- Jarvis got together with a small group to create what has now become an annual institution here: For the Love of Arts Month.
Art is a crucial part of all of our lives, whether or not we consider ourselves artists or appreciators of the arts. Kelley once suggested that we spend a day, or even an hour, paying careful attention to our surroundings to appreciate how much art and design are a part of our lives.
I suspect I could fill up this column with the first hour of my day. I wake up to a bedroom filled with art. I’ve been blessed with a tribe of talented friends and relatives who’ve filled my life with art and taught me how to make some of my own (my early morning first view includes a few of my own paintings, photos and soft sculptures, too).
For many of us, the day begins with a ringing alarm clock. Some designers spent some time figuring out its shape and the sound of its ring (or ways for you to customize it yourself). If you get up before the sun, think about the person who designed your lamp, or the curtains or shades or skylights or the architect that came up with the plans for your house or apartment.
A lot of thought and effort and artistry went into the quilts I turn back as get out of bed each morning, but even if you sleep under mass produced linens, an artist’s hand was in the prints and colors of your sheets, blankets and bedspreads.
Art is all over your bathroom, from the sink and its fixtures to the shower curtains, tub and tiles — all were designed by someone. The same goes for your towels and washcloths, your toothbrush and toothpaste and the containers they came in.
If you switch on an iPod, phone, radio, television or computer first thing in the morning to catch up on news or messages, you are enjoying the considerable efforts of a design team that included artists as well as technicians. And whatever first greets you on that device is the work of other designers and artists (maybe even you, if you designed your own screensaver, ringtone, or setting or container for your first-thing-in-the-morning-design of choice).
I usually start out with news on TV or maybe catching up on a favorite program I've recorded. That means theme music, set designs, costumes/wardrobe … whatever I'm watching, chances are it involved musicians, writers, architects and a variety of visual artists.
Head to your kitchen for breakfast. Whether you've festooned your kitchen with paintings and tablecloths and placemats, or chosen a minimalist decor, you're entering a space that's filled with the work of artists and designers. Someone designed your refrigerator, stove, blender, microwave and all your other appliances, your cabinets and counters, your tables and chairs, and very likely, the surface you’re standing on, which could be covered with tiles, rugs, or a wooden floor.
Somebody gave thought to the shape and color of the pan in which your fry your eggs, the bowl for your cereal and fruit, the utensils you use to cook and eat with, the mug for your coffee, the glass for your juice, and the containers they came in.
Your clothes are more obvious, because most of us give some thought to personal tastes when it comes to what we wear. But even if we can't all afford designer originals, our mass-produced choices were probably influenced by top fashion designers.
And moving beyond that chic scarf, that cute dress, hot jacket or killer heels, artists and designers were involved at some stage of the mostly mundane mass-produced clothing, from work boots to undies and socks.
Before I climbed into my trusty car, I noticed how much the headlights resemble those of it’s pricier inspiration (a Jaguar) and the subtle pearlescence of its off-white paint.
Thanks to artists everywhere and we look forward to celebrating your creations all month long.
Today, take a moment to appreciate how much artists and designers contribute to your life, to its ease, comfort, and beauty, each and every day.

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style. Follow her on Twitter @DerricksonMoore.

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