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Around The Arts

December 22, 2012

An artist label can be placed on many types of people

“You are such an artist.”

Sometimes we say that jokingly to friends who may have stepped outside of their box and created something with more flourish than their usual endeavor — a cookie extravagantly decorated, maybe the intricate new children’s tree house in the backyard, or the doodles seen on a notebook on the kitchen counter. 

“Yeah, right,” they scoff. 

Perhaps we are giving a friendly jab at the ribbon-adorned holiday gift, but sometimes we mean it … and they won’t take you seriously.   

“No I mean it,” I said. “This is really good; you should be so proud!” 

I was talking about the creation my friend made out of found objects on her farm — pieces of wood that had dried up in the riverbed, some vintage dishes from a yard sale, an old tire rim. She created this wooden masterpiece that resembled a cowboy, with a bandana around the “neck” and all.

This wasn’t her first work of art out of found lumber. A few months ago, she was almost giddy because someone … actually two or three people … were interested in purchasing one of her pieces at her yard sale. 

“Can you believe someone wanted it?” she asked incredulously. “For a gallery no less!”

The piece is now in a local gallery with a small tag that reads “created by local artist.” 

When she told me about the tag she became a little self-conscious — like she wasn’t worthy of the title.

It just so happens that wasn’t the last piece she contributed to the gallery. It purchased another piece from her to display jewelry — a creative stand with thin, knotted branches extending upward — the perfect setting for pretty necklaces and earrings. 

But still, she refuses to acknowledge she’s an artist. 

“This is just a hobby,” she told me. “I guess some people would call it art, but this is just something I do.”

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