Have you ever stopped and noticed what a beautiful thing a highway overpass is? We've got a new one going in just west of town, and it is a thing of gorgeosity. Lovely broad lanes. Sweeping boulevards of grass, tiny river stones, and indigenous trees. Artistically turned metal railings. The name of the city and street stand in cemented-relief on the bridge's sides so passing drivers know what they just drove under. And it's all done in muted desert-tones. Truly, the new Main Street overpass is a work of art.
You know what else is a work of art? Everything. Seriously. My cousin is an artist and her husband a sculptor, and they are both brilliant and are living on beans because they work in the arts. And yet, literally everything that surrounds us on a daily basis has at some point involved artists and designers. All the things we take completely for granted have had blood, sweat, tears, and serious creative energy poured into them. Take, for instance, the car you are driving. It is designed with sleek lines, rich exterior color, clean and classic interior. Or cool and funky interior. Or even cheap Vegas-ian interior. Controls are designed to be functional and yet allow you to feel smooth, elegant, independent, testosterone-laden, or state-of-the-art. Hmm. There's that "A" word again.
And how about the stores you walk into? They are laid-out and designed with special lighting and evocative displays. There is landscaping out front. Street signs? They are made noticeable and pleasing to the eye. Parking lots are engineered. Pamphlets you pick up at the dermatologist's office, movie ticket-stubs, memos from the boss, bottles of bathroom cleaner, packs of gum, maps, websites, signs and logos, cars, trucks, construction equipment, surgical tools, cell phones, album covers, house numbers, bricks, music - ah music! From my living room to my car to my computer to my iPod - combs, toothpicks, taxis -- everything we use on a daily basis, at some point along the way, has been sent through design teams, artists, composers, or editors, for the sole purpose of turning them into something that we, as consumers or customers or citizens, will find pleasing, want to use, and want to be part of.
Everything is Art.
Maybe it's time to thank the artists.
Images courtesy of freepixels.com