“Love of beauty is taste.
The creation of beauty is art.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
My City Magazine has recently highlighted the art collections of various Greater Flint community members. I’d like to tell you a little about my own.
As the daughter of two artists, I grew up in a very creative environment and my parents strived to pass on their love of art to their children. They were always creating beautiful things – oil paintings, pottery, watercolor drawings, charcoal sketches – and urged me and my siblings to give it a try. I, unfortunately, did not inherit their talent. The only artform I ever excelled in was – well, finger-painting. I found that my own creativity was better directed toward music and writing. But, I did inherit my parents’ love of art.
I call my artwork The Dennison Collection. On my dining room wall is a huge oil painting my father did many years ago of a vase filled with sunflowers. The brilliant yellow blooms brighten even the coldest Michigan winter day. It’s probably one of my favorite pieces, bringing back memories of my childhood. My mother’s artwork includes many paintings of her children. Hanging over my piano is an oil painting of me when I was nine years old, sitting primly in a chair with our Siamese cat. On my living room wall is an oil painting of my little brother playing with a truck in front of the TV. Another favorite is a painting of me and my sister, standing side-by-side, with the Maryland mountains as the background.
I have also collected many pieces of pottery my parents made. In one cherished photo of my father, he sits at the pottery wheel, spinning clay into a vase. My favorite piece is one he made – a large raku urn. Raku is a Japanese type of lead-glazed pottery that is hand-formed, fired at a high temperature and rapidly cooled. My mother also made many of the beautiful pottery in my collection including a teapot, plates, bowls and trays in various shapes, sizes and colors.
I was really lucky to grow up in a family that loved the arts, and Genesee County residents are fortunate to have the Flint Institute of Arts – Michigan’s second largest art museum. Acording to its website, FIA has been responsible for acquiring, protecting and presenting a world-renowned collection of art and artifices spanning continents and 5,000 years, now exceeding 8,000 objects. In a world so fast-paced, unsettled and filled with conflict, it is more important than ever to step back, take a breath, and experience what is good and beautiful in life. Art is certainly one of those things.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The art in my collection wasn’t created by famous artists and I’m sure it’s not valuable; but it is beautiful and meaningful to me.