#SocialEngagement

Check Your Calendars: Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, January 31st

Folks in our industry don’t need a scientific study to tell us that appreciating, making or discussing art is good for our minds, bodies and souls. But it is a bit affirming to see people getting on board! Art is for everyone, at any point in our lives: from the learning moments of our first years to the rediscoveries during our golden ones. Our first Social Media Kit of the year is out this week for Inspire Your Heart With Art Day: make sure to check your inboxes for ready-made images and copy to support whatever you plan to do for this day.

4 Ways to Celebrate

  • Host a Valentine’s Day event or demo. With Valentine’s Day just weeks away, you can host a Make n’ Take for people to make creative Valentine’s Day gifts. Perhaps a papercrafting demo or a heartsy craft.
  • Design a creative art inspiration display that engages staff and post on social media. Ask staff to choose an artist that has inspired them. Create a document, one page for each employee, with a photo of their chosen artist, three fun facts about them and a piece of artwork they created. Print out these pages and display them near the mediums the artists used to create with. This is a great way to showcase how supplies have been used over time and engage staff and employees in meaningful conversations. Bonus points if the artist’s birthday happens to be on the Customer Engagement Calendar!
  • Carry prints by a local artist. Connecting with and supporting the community is another way to inspire your heart, and your customers’ hearts, with art! Connect with a local artist and offer to carry their prints for the month of February.
  • Connect with a local arts organization. Reach out to local galleries or museums and see if you have merchandise that relates to the current exhibit / artist on show. Create an endcap that inspires customers to go check it out!

The Power of Creative Conversation

Generating meaningful conversations about art is just as crucial to our industry as sales. Talking about art (even arguing about it!) reinforces how important the arts are in our society. Connecting with friends, family and ourselves over works of art and remembering artists who have inspired us reminds us how art can bring us together, challenge our ways of thinking, and ground us in inherently human ways.

In the interest of walking the walk, our team tried out the art inspiration idea mentioned above. What artworks have inspired our hearts?

Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1913

“This piece has inspired me since I was a small child. My grandfather is an artist and he had one of these in his home. When we would visit them up in Parsonsfield, Maine, I used to sneak into the freezing cold living room early in the morning and spin the wheel, sticking my fingers in the spokes to make musical “ting-ing” sounds. Was it a toy? An instrument? A machine? A seat that no one can use? A bicycle that goes nowhere? I was enthralled.

Then I learned about Marcel Duchamp in college and discovered the piece was not my grandfather’s but a copy of the famed Dadaist! My grandfather had made a replica of this piece for my grandmother’s birthday one year using an old stool and a bicycle wheel he got from a flea market for $5. And now, writing this, I discovered a quote from Duchamp about what the piece means (it means “nothing,” it was a distraction for him in the studio: but he liked to spin it and run his fingers along the spokes, too!).

Now when I think about this piece, I not only remember peaceful mornings in my grandparents’ house, I also think the playful nature of art (what’s the “point”) and the powerful way a single work of art can generate infinite conversations across space and time.”

Catherine Monahon, Copywriter & Art Dog Writer

All In The Family: Isaac Menda & Yael Even-Kesef

“I guess my art story is just my life story. I grew up surrounded by art and artists. To me it was a given to see brushes in the sink, a canvas half-finished, a new piece critiqued by the artist. I don’t even have any memories of life without art, without going to museums, or staring at a painting by my grandfather and mom or going to a show opening.”I have vivid memories of my grandfather in his 80s and 90s sitting in his cramped artist studio in Israel slowly adding oil paint (Gamblin sent from America) to yet another board. He painted on any surface he could get his hands on, from canvas panels to cardboard. His art became more abstract as his vision started to fail him. Us grandkids would sneak peeks at him, amazed at how many hours he would spend painting. I remember falling asleep on my grandparents’ couch staring at his grand horse painting and making up stories of why they were so wild.

My mother was also always an artist, sketching in her notebooks in class, climbing trees as a young girl to write poems about birds and trees and drawing them too. Throughout my early childhood, I remember her taking art classes at the community college near our house. Silkscreen, painting, Batik…didn’t everyone’s mom do this? 

When I was in high school my mom applied to get her MFA and attended the San Francisco Art Institute. I would spend hours with her in her studio on Market Street in San Francisco giving her feedback, washing her brushes. The smell of oil paint wafted all around me in her shared studio space, but her pieces were huge  abstract works made with layers of acrylic paint, textured with found objects, sand, acrylic skin, more paint. Golden and Liquitex were familiar brands just like Kleenex or Band-Aid. 

Now in her mid-70s, my mom still paints. She adds more layers to paintings displayed on her walls (and ours!), never satisfied with, in her eyes, never-finished artwork. She lives in Israel now, and when she comes to visit once a year, she always creates new collaborative work with my sons. Now her pieces are smaller:  painted on wood panels my father saws for her, or recycling the previous canvas she deemed unfinished. She still uses mostly acrylics, and her art has circled back to the birds and trees of her youth.”

Tali Even-Kesef, Senior Graphic Designer

Let us know how it goes. If you plan to celebrate this day, please tag us in your social media posts (especially if you use anything for the Social Media Kit)!

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