by Gabriel Bugarin
Art is a medium of imagination–an avenue for people to express themselves in a way unique to humanity. People have been creating art almost as long as humans have existed. Archaeologist have discovered cave paintings in Africa that are believed to be approximately 75,000 years old, according to the Oxford University Press.
Art can be found in many different colors, shapes, sizes, and materials–from renaissance-era paintings, to statues constructed of old car parts. Most of us have some form of art in our homes. It is something we can find almost anywhere.
Chance Isbell is a tattoo artist at “Black Hive” – a local Jacksonville shop – and owner of an art gallery says, “Well, as you can see, I’m covered head-to-toe in art,” Isbell said, gesturing to his tattoo-cloaked skin. “There’s so much thought put into all of this. I see it when people come in to get tattoos too. They want something meaningful. They recognize the power an image can have.”
People spend thousands, even millions of dollars on art, body art included. “I would estimate I have spent roughly $40,000 dollars on all my tattoos,” Isbell said, smiling. He looks at all his tattoos adoringly. “I wouldn’t take it back. Hell, I’m not even done yet. These are a part of me now. Plus, there’s nothing more exciting to me than sitting in a chair and hearing a needle buzz.”
Rodika Tchi has been a feng shui consultant for more than 15 years. Feng shui is a Chinese philosophy built on the premise of finding harmony in an environment through arrangement and placement of furniture, decorations, and art. Tchi speaks on the importance of art in her consulting. “It is all about good energy,” Tchi said. “Art has the ability to evoke so many different thoughts and feelings. In a study, for instance, you might want a piece that is going to evoke focus, while in your bedroom, you can place a piece that will add a calming effect. Art in all its form has these sort of capabilities.”
As we grow in our knowledge of sciences and thrive in the technological era, artists are worrying that art is taking a place on the back burner. Isbell said, “People put a lot of importance on science now days. Yes, it’s important and I’m all for it, but people also have to realize that art is equally important. If we were to ever lose it, I think we’d lose ourselves. There’s nothing else in the world that allows us to bring to life our imaginations and ourselves like art.”