Working for the Museum, Susan Bell

Susan Bell
Jefferson Pinder, Music Missionaries
Art  is like the metamorphosis of a butterfly.  It starts with an idea and  transforms itself into something unique and beautiful.  Like a butterfly, sometimes  the physical transformation can take  a few days to years to complete.  But at the end, the effect of seeing it’s beauty is the same – magical!   Art is an extension of the artist soul, like creation is to God.  It’s beautiful to behold and can take your breath away.  It moves you spiritually, like the sounds of music and the beauty of nature.  It can provoke a different impression and interpretation in each individual, like the words of God.  Yet, at the end we are in awe at the different techniques, materials and creativity of each work of art, like in God’s creation of an embryo to baby or seed to flower.
The world of initially discovering the different art techniques such as:  oil painting, photography, wood engraving, screen printing, sculpturing, and digital art – to name a few, is like seeing the different species of a butterfly or flower.  The love, time and creativity it took to create it is intriguing and beautiful. The complexity of  each technique is overwhelming to an admirer, such as myself.
Visually, art speaks to us.  It tells a story without verbalization. It moves us like an unspoken poem.  When I view photography by Vivian Maier or even local photographers  like, Russ Dillingham, I’m drawn to  their unspoken story.  Their pictures  capture the essence of life, happiness, despair, hope and serenity, without a spoken word -that is art!
Art is a story.  It’s a story with no words. It speaks to us in many ways. We are lured by the Mona Lisa’a smile  or the sculptures of Michelangelo.  We smile at the whimsical animals of Dahlov Ipcar or spiritually moved by Leonardo  da Vinci, “The Last Supper”.  We don’t need a book to read art, because it’s a visual book.  You don’t need a degree to understand or appreciate  art or be artistic.  Also, art has no language barriers. We can live in different parts of the world and speak different languages and still understand and appreciate art by David Driskell or Winslow Homer.
Working at Bates college Art Museum, has opened my mind and heart to the world of art.  It has lured me into it’s beauty, story and complexities. It’s provided opportunities to meet artist and art enthusiast. I’ve learned the complexities of different art forms, like lithography and woodcuts. Overall, it encompasses the goodness of God, the beauty of nature and the stories of life.  How exhilarating!
-Susan Bell