One of my very favorite things to do early in the morning is to take a fresh, hot cup of coffee into my Gallery and soak in the good vibes. It is a peaceful and calm way for me to greet the morning.
Typically, my eyes wander around the room, briefly lighting upon different pieces of art. Each piece has a different story, and as my eyes rest upon them, their stories flash before me.
The different categories of art in my Gallery are somewhat analogous to the components of an orchestra. Each category speaks to me in a different manner, but together they bring a harmonious blend of music that reaches to the heavens.
My very first love was pottery, and I liken that to the percussion section of the orchestra. The steady rhythm of notes from the drums, cymbals, and timpani all create a structure and timing for the melody, and build a timeless bridge between the earliest prehistoric potters and today’s talented artists.
With that rhythm in mind, the next section of the orchestra is complex and dynamic, the strings. I liken the flash of colors, the unique compositions, and the electric notes to the visual arts, represented by painters and photographers. The colors of Mother Nature are expressed and blended in this section.
Directly behind the strings in most orchestras, we find the lilting woodwinds, adding their piping notes to the melody. These, in my analogy, might be the cleverly made baskets and weavings that show amazing patterns in their complexity.
Next, the horn section, consisting of all the trumpets, trombones, tubas, and other pieces of brass. Of course, sculptures and carvings come to mind for me, with the solid notes of the brass reflected in the voices of the fetishes and bronzes echoing throughout my Gallery.
I would think jewelry might be represented by the keyboards and harps – very elegant, and also a crowning touch to every ensemble. Both the craftsmanship of the silversmiths and the careful cutting and display of gemstones give this final category the finishing touch.
All of these components are parts to a whole – the song of a culture expressed in their art. We see this in the dances, the songs, and the traditions which Native Americans use to guide their lives in peace and harmony.
And I am certain that collectors intuitively recognize the melodies contained in their pieces as they build their harmonious collections of Native American art. Some may favor one category over others, and other collectors may fill in pieces representing different sections. It has become increasingly easy for me to walk into a Gallery and tell the type of art represented, simply by listening to the interplay of melodies that greet me at the door.
As you build your collection of Native American art, listen carefully to the songs contained in each piece. Those songs contain a part of the culture of that artist, and the artist is carefully creating a piece of music with his or her art. When a piece of art speaks to you, when it touches your soul, you have established a link not only to the artist, but to the whole culture represented by that piece of art. Keep building your orchestra one piece at a time, and enjoy the joyous melodies floating throughout your home. Let the songs lift your soul, and bring happiness to your life, as it has to mine.