December 29, 2010

The Longevity of Art

I got a piece of art from my mother for Christmas. She owns Belle's Dolls, a doll studio on Middle Bass Island, Ohio, specializing in authentically costumed First Ladies and Presidents. She sculpted each of them from George and Martha Washington through the second generation of Bushes.  My father would make the molds from her sculptures, and then she'd pour the dolls in porcelain and complete them with carefully researched costumes, hair styles, eye color, etc.

Mother's vision has failed, but she goes to a craft group every week. When I saw this piece, I fell in love:

When it comes to art, you just can't go wrong with feathers and tinsel.

It seems as though it would be shocking, Mother's transition from sophisticated sculpting and painting and styling to a mask like this, but I'm not troubled. The transition to the care center after my father's death hasn't been easy, but she's responded to the staff's efforts to keep her stimulated and motivated. She had a stack of five audio books (and tapes) for the blind on her Lazy Boy chair when we were there Christmas, and she loves the food and is grateful that she's no longer responsible for preparing it.  The food is plain, as you'd hope when trying to satisfy nearly a hundred appetites, and she's satisfied. 

Here's to a new year bursting with art, and joy.

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