With the August Art Crawl approaching tonight on August 12, my Hamilton heart rejoices. It was not until I found out that Art Crawls existed at the end of my first year of University that I began to explore the downtown core. Although the AGH stands tall and can be noticed by outsiders who have moved to Hamilton, the James Street Art Crawl exists for only those who are “in the know”. The Hamiltonians that recognize its existence are the ones who love art, and wish to see what their city has produced in the past month. The Art Crawl is the parallel of my love towards Hamilton. It is the communal representative of what this city means to me. The effort taken by stores and artists within our community to share and expose their art to the public on a monthly basis is what makes Hamilton stand out amongst the rest.
Rain or shine, cold or unbearably hot, the Art Crawl continues to bring our community together. It is a contributor in what makes me want to stay in this city. It represents growth, passion, and inspiration. As an artist, I am inspired every time I go. It makes me want to return home and pick up a piece of paper and brainstorm my next art project.
What inspires you? Who inspires you? To me, it is the passion I find in others that truly motivates me. It is the hope and joy I find around me, and the satisfaction others show in their accomplishments. When it comes to art, it is difficult to find artists who do not have critiques for their own work. At the Art Crawl, the pieces reach out and envelope the viewer. The artist presents their works proudly, for all to see. The Crawl shows process, as well as promise.
Artists who inspire you can be your peers, your family members, anyone. I seek comfort in the works of Laurie Anderson, who reasons with a world, and promotes the idea of duality, which I think is present in all aspects of life. She is a woman who hosts a concert for dogs in Times Square to honor the passing of her late husband Lou Reid, as well as her dog Lolabelle. She offers art to an audience that is alternative, yet can still process the art given to them. I am also inspired by my friends who create art that helps them deal with the world we live in, creating aesthetic beauty as a means of comfort, and solace, and strength.
Art is an outlet that the public does not embrace nearly enough. So tonight at Art Crawl, take a moment to be inspired. If you feel like it, go home and create something that is your own. It doesn’t matter the medium, it just matters that you let something affect you. And in return, you give back by creating even more.
*Banner image: Art Crawl vendors selling work outside Hamilton Artists Inc [Photo: Stephen Near]