Art and me

In this case, for this post, Art is not a person – although I know a few human Arts.

This post is about “art,” defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary (the one on my shelf is actually quite old) as the “human ability to make things… creativity as distinguished from nature… skill, craftsmanship (or their application)… a craft, trade or profession or their principles… a making or doing of things that display form, beauty, and unusual perception…” Art includes, says Webster’s, “painting, sculpture, architecture, music, literature, drama, the dance, etc.” Yes, the dictionary actually uses the term “etc.” I guess the writers couldn’t figure out art any more than anyone else can.

The dictionary definition goes on for several more lines of tiny type – and my magnifying glass is in another room.

The point is that some of my books are on display in an art show at the deCoste Centre for Arts & Creativity in Pictou. Creative Pictou County curated the show.

It is an honour for my creations to rub shoulders with the marvellous art on display until Aug. 26. It is also a good feeling when literary art – that is, books and stories and the writing thereof- is publicly recognized by others in the art world.

When I first began to write and get paid for it, there were just a few Nova Scotia writers, and even fewer from Pictou County. It was hard to even find many Canadian writers – there were a handful of well-known authors, and a bunch of others struggling against the tide of imported literature.

But now? As a friend of mine said yesterday – “There are more good Canadian books out there than I can read in the rest of my life.” And, of course, new ones keep popping up.

I own a fair-sized pile of books, and more than three-quarters of them were written by Canadians, because it makes my heart happy to read about people and places and issues that I understand. It speaks for me, and of me – just like any of the other art forms on display at the deCoste.

Go take a look. It’s free.

Maybe you’ll agree with me that Webster should add “art… a human creation that allows and encourages observers to feel emotions.”

Webster’s, by the way, is not a Canadian creation. Oh, well.