Art is not just pretty wall décor – I believe art can change the world. The Beatles found a new sound, made catchy melodies that captured the imagination of our nation, and in one decade they radically changed American culture. I’ve been in small towns where the downtown murals tell you when you drive through, “This town is important, our roots are important, and we are making a difference.” Sometimes art mirrors society, but sometimes art molds society and brings social change. I believe all of us as artists can help bring positive social change to our cities and regions.
Art tells us where we came from, and it can tell us where we are going. A walk through the galleries of our city tells us something about our city’s values and culture. What do we value? Where are we going? As a culture we have pursued knowledge and pleasure. What would happen if we encouraged people – through our art – to pursue beauty and truth?
What do you find beautiful? Beauty touches the soul and awakens something in us. I feel more alive after walking through an art gallery – or a home, or a forest – filled with beauty. I believe it’s why 12 million people each year visit Niagara Falls – beauty refreshes, inspires, awakens. Because beauty is powerful, art is powerful.
I don’t start a painting hoping to change the world with it, I start it because I like the play of light across a frost-covered field, or the way the water reflects and softens the scene behind it. But I am aware that art has tremendous influence. And as an artist I want to use my influence with wisdom.