VIEWING ART IS BRAIN FOOD">VIEWING ART IS BRAIN FOOD

CAN VIEWING ART IMPROVE MY BRAIN FUNCTION?

Yes! It most def­i­nite­ly can. View­ing art is good for your health. Do you want to enhance your brain func­tion and feel good doing it? Then take a walk through an Art gallery, like Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts, Art muse­um or Crafts Fair. It not only lifts your spir­its, view­ing art can stim­u­late the cre­ation of new neur­al path­ways and ways of thinking. 

Each time you look at a piece of art, your brain is work­ing to make sense of the visu­al infor­ma­tion it’s receiv­ing. From high­ly life­like por­traits to abstract col­lec­tions of rec­tan­gles, look­ing at art stim­u­lates the brain and puts our innate knack for orga­niz­ing pat­terns and mak­ing sense of shapes to use.” Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona Glob­al Campus

Pat Mer­ri­man

Take for exam­ple a por­trait of a per­son, or boat, etc. It is not a per­son or boat, but the brain has the skill of mak­ing sense of what we’re see­ing and allows us to iden­ti­fy it as such. The brain goes through changes when look­ing at a beau­ti­ful art­work.  To prove the point, an exper­i­ment con­duct­ed dur­ing a stu­dent muse­um vis­it. It showed through brain scans an increase in blood flow to the brain by as much as 10% that trig­gers a surge of dopamine (the neu­ro­trans­mit­ter — your body’s nat­ur­al anti­de­pres­sant and asso­ci­at­ed with feel­ings of hap­pi­ness and well-being) in the same areas of the brain that reg­is­ters roman­tic love. It’s the the equiv­a­lent of look­ing at some­one you love. Sur­veys con­duct­ed after the trip showed that even just an hour’s trip to the muse­um indi­cat­ed signs of improved crit­i­cal think­ing skills among stu­dents, exhibit­ing empa­thy, and expressed tol­er­ance towards oth­ers dif­fer­ent from them. 

Con­sid­er­ing this, it seems ART class­es should def­i­nite­ly not be a class to cut, but, in fact, it should be a required course.

Bird’s Eye View, Alice Levinson

DIVE IN

Look­ing at art isn’t just about mak­ing sense of the shapes. When we look at a piece of art, be it a paint­ing, sculp­ture, fur­ni­ture, tex­tile, we place our­selves into the art­work. Putting our­selves in the art is when our brain turns things like action, move­ment, and ener­gy you see in art into actu­al emo­tions you can feel. Our cog­ni­tion is influ­enced by our expe­ri­ences in the phys­i­cal world. The more you study the art­work, the more you put your­self with­in the scene and can actu­al­ly feel or relate to the work. Say for instance, you look at a  paint­ing by Jack­son Pol­lock. You may feel like you are fling­ing that paint. Or maybe you are view­ing a pic­ture of the ocean. You may feel the sand beneath your feet, the smell of the salt, call of the gulls, and the sound of ocean waves. When you begin to relate to the art­work, you’re more able to appre­ci­ate it even more. It may then bring mem­o­ries and feel­ings of joy.

On the Rocks, Jude Lobe

So TAKE A WALK THROUGH AN ART GALLERY and lift your spirits.

~ Jude Lobe

 

 

 

HOW TO BUY ART">HOW TO BUY ART

DOES ART HAVE TO MATCH THE SOFA?

Here’s help in how to buy art. No, it does­n’t need to match the sofa. You may have pur­chased a new home and want to dec­o­rate. Or you have have seen an art­work in a doc­tor’s office or art gallery and it cap­tured your atten­tion. Well good news. ART does not have to match your sofa. It only has to make you hap­py, remind you of good mem­o­ries or keep your interest.

If you are in the mar­ket for art (paint­ings, sculp­tures, one-of-a-kind fur­ni­ture, quilts, etc.), you only have to love it.  Sure, it should look appro­pri­ate in the room. But don’t think of fine art as just decor – because it isn’t, it is Fine Art and it should be expe­ri­enced as such.

    You can peruse art gal­leries, hope­ful­ly local art gal­leries, espe­cial­ly those owned by artists, like Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts in North Car­oli­na. If you are moved by a piece of fine art because it makes you hap­py, that is a good rea­son to buy It and take it home with you. That way, you would have the art to lift your spir­its every sin­gle day. Art is functional.

    You can always change lit­tle things in your room to make the art fit your decor. For instance, take col­ors from the art­work and bring in those col­ors with pil­lows, table cov­ers, anoth­er work of art or an accent rug.

    The art­works you choose do not need to match. There are no rules for choos­ing art accept pur­chase the art you love. The com­mon thread will be what they have in com­mon which is THAT YOU LOVE THEM. You don’t have to find the same col­ors, style or even the same time period.

     

    How to Com­bine Dif­fer­ent Styles

    Think out­side the box in arrang­ing art. For instance, a paint­ing does­n’t have to hang on a wall. It’s very bohemi­an to lean it on a man­tle or against the wall. Throw out the idea that items have to match. Jux­ta­po­si­tion makes things inter­est­ing. Mix round and square sculp­tures or high and low art­works. Find some­thing they have in com­mon to bring dif­fer­ent styles togeth­er. It can be col­or, sub­ject mat­ter or loca­tions. Group art. Hang one large piece, with small­er pieces. Same with sculp­tures. Groups items with same themes or var­i­ous styles or sizes. To group pho­tographs, frame them all with the same style and col­or frame.

    Don’t be afraid to mix styles. That can add excite­ment and ener­gy to the space. If you have a large blank wall, cov­er it with an extra large paint­ing and it becomes a focal point, a show piece.

    And there are times when you should think ‘inside the box.’ Think of your jew­el­ry that you love, but don’t see it very much as it is hid­den in your jew­el­ry box. How about plac­ing it in a shad­ow box and enjoy it every day.

    Jew­el­ry by Ari­an­na Bara

     

    Orig­i­nal Art vs Prints

    Orig­i­nal art­work is a good way to add some­thing unique and last­ing to your home, but it can be more expen­sive than a print. If the orig­i­nal art is a paint­ing, it will be more lumi­nous than that of a print and the col­or more lus­cious. It may have a com­pli­men­ta­ry tex­ture as well that is part of it’s char­ac­ter that can’t be trans­lat­ed in a print. Three-dimen­sion­al art like sculp­tures may not suf­fer that same dif­fer­ence, but an orig­i­nal will be one-of-a-kind.

    In the end, the best way to buy and dec­o­rate with art is to buy what you love. Oh, and make sure it makes you smile and feel good.

     

    ~Jude Lobe

    WALK IN THE WOODS">A WALK IN THE WOODS

     

    Take a Hike, by Jude Lobe. 11X14.

    Look­ing for a fun way to build endurance and strength? Take a Hike. It’s the healthy thing to do. Not only does a hike in the woods give you a sense of com­muning with nature, it has been found to decrease neur­al activ­i­ty in the part of the brain that is asso­ci­at­ed with anx­i­ety and depression. 

    Mar­tin Nie­der­meier, PhD, lead author on the PLOS One  (Pub­lic Library of Sci­ence ) study, says that nature—and green envi­ron­ments in particular—can reduce per­ceived stress and fatigue. “The visu­al stim­uli in nature serve as so-called soft fas­ci­na­tions,” he says, “which might result in a low­er per­ceived stress and fatigue.” Nie­der­meier says these find­ings are impor­tant for a sim­ple rea­son: “Peo­ple tend to stick with forms of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty they enjoy.”

    Hik­ing car­ries lit­tle risk of injury, builds fit­ness and bone den­si­ty, uses calo­ries, com­bats depres­sion, helps to reduce heart dis­ease and strokes, and helps low­er blood pres­sure just to name a few of the many benefits. 

    So, TAKE A HIKE in the woods. BUT.…..

    If you can’t get out to a woods this week­end, come instead to Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts and view OUT OF THE WOODS exhib­it, fea­tur­ing artists Mar­cy Lans­man, Ellie Rein­hold and Jason Smith. It will sure­ly lift your spirits. 

     

    by Jude Lobe
    for Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts

    SO YOU WANT TO HAVE A STUDIO TOUR">SO YOU WANT TO HAVE A STUDIO TOUR

    SO YOU WANT TO HAVE A STUDIO TOUR

    Here’s the great news. Every­one who comes to your stu­dio are com­ing BECAUSE THEY WANT TO SEE YOUR WORKKeep that in mind. ALL are poten­tial buyers. So make it a great expe­ri­ence for them.

    Pho­tog­ra­phy by  © Iakov Fil­imonov | Dreamstime.com

    MAKE IT AN EXPERIENCE

    • Greet them at the door and make them feel welcomed.

    • Make it an expe­ri­ence — have some wine or hot cider, grapes, cheese or anoth­er snack.

    • Have nice music playing in the background.

    DISPLAYING YOUR WORK

    • Here’s where Less is More. I know it is a big temp­ta­tion to put out ALL your work, think­ing if they don’t see it, they won’t buy it. However, if there is too much to see, it could work negatively. It will be visu­al overload and per­sons won’t be able to focus on that one object that will speak to their hearts. Have faith. Though there will be less work, you will end up sell­ing more. You can con­tin­ue to fill those emp­ty sold spots with anoth­er piece. Don’t hang from ceil­ing to floor. Negative space is gold­en. It draws atten­tion to the piece that is sur­round­ed by space.

    • Price every­thing so if you are busy talk­ing with some­one else, anoth­er per­son will know the price and not get frustrated and walk out. Give price, medi­um, and if pos­si­ble, a short descrip­tion of your inspiration for the piece.

    KEEPING IN CONTACT

    To follow up, you MUST get their email and address. Thank them for com­ing to your stu­dio. If they agreed to be on your email list, add them to your month­ly newsletter. You want to keep your name and what you do in their minds. I’ve had several peo­ple call me up when they were look­ing for a gift. Follow‑up, follow‑up, follow‑up. This is your busi­ness. You want to sell year ’round. Not just at shows.

    ADVERTISE

     If you are doing your stu­dio tour through an Arts orga­ni­za­tion, to get the biggest bang for your buck, don’t just rely on the Stu­dio Tour’s advertise­ments. Send out newslet­ters, tell your friends, pass out your brochures everywhere you go. Write up your own press release on prlog.org, send out post­cards, and so on. And list links to the Press Release on sites for free like http://EverWondr.com. Post the Press Release link on your Face­book page, Insta­gram, Twit­ter and in your newsletter.

    Excerpt from Jude Lobe’s ‘So you want to have a Stu­dio Tour’ pamphlet

    YES!">Do We Need Art? YES!

    DO WE NEED ART? Yes! 

    Art has been with us for over 30,000 years. Ori­gins of art are ancient and lie with­in Africa, before world­wide human dis­per­sal. The ear­li­est known evi­dence of ‘artis­tic behav­iour’ is of human body dec­o­ra­tion, includ­ing skin col­or­ing with ochre and the use of beads, although both may have had func­tion­al ori­gins. 

    Mod­ern cos­met­ics and tat­toos have a his­to­ry, orig­i­nat­ing with the use of ochre for col­or­ing the skin hun­dreds of mil­len­nia ago. The human love of body dec­o­ra­tion involves the appli­ca­tion of col­or. The old­est known use of ochre is ∼ 164,000 BC from a South African culture.

    So art has been all around us for mil­len­ni­al bring­ing us joy by mak­ing us pret­ty; col­or­ing and design­ing our cloth­ing; and adding visu­al art like paint­ings and sculp­tures to record ani­mals, his­to­ry, hon­or famous per­sons or just to make love­ly struc­tures. There are many rea­sons artists cre­ate. Michelan­ge­lo described his incen­tive as ‘I saw an angel in the mar­ble and carved until I set him free.’

    There is sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence that there is a neu­ro­log­i­cal rela­tion­ship between visu­al cre­ativ­i­ty and lan­guage. For the view­er, art is healthy for our men­tal health. Think of the joy you get from going to a con­cert, vis­it­ing an art muse­um or watch­ing a dance recital. 

    With recent advances in bio­log­i­cal, cog­ni­tive and neu­ro­log­i­cal sci­ence, there are new forms of evi­dence on the arts and the brain. For exam­ple, researchers have used biofeed­back to study the effects of visu­al art on neur­al cir­cuits and neu­roen­docrine mark­ers to find bio­log­i­cal evi­dence that visu­al art pro­motes health, well­ness and fos­ters adap­tive respons­es to stress.” (Beth Daley, the Con­ver­sa­tion, a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion)

    New exhibit at Hillsborough Gallery of Arts

     

    Art gives mean­ing to our lives. It helps us under­stand our world. It is an essen­tial part of our cul­ture because it allows us to have a deep­er under­stand­ing of our emo­tions; increas­es our self-aware­ness, and allows us to be open to new ideas and expe­ri­ences. “Addi­tion­al­ly, sci­ence has shown that view­ing beau­ti­ful art­work can actu­al­ly cause you to expe­ri­ence the same phys­i­cal reac­tions we get when we fall in love.” (Pro­fes­sor Semir Zeki, a neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gist with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don)

    So go fall in love. Vis­it the Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts new exhib­it, SWEET IMPOSSIBLE BLOSSOMS with Ari­an­na Bara, Chris Graeb­n­er and Ian Herdell. Now show­ing March 22nd to April 24th, 2022.

    ~Jude Lobe

    SOUL FOOD">SOUL FOOD

    SOUL FOOD

    Art is good for the soul, and you have it all around you every day inside and out­side your home. It’s not only a paint­ing or pho­to­graph on a wall, or a sculp­ture in your gar­den. It is the gar­den, the jew­el­ry you wear, the pil­low on your sofa, the table­cloth, the design on your sil­ver­ware.  But art is not just some­thing to look at and admire, rec­og­nized it is func­tion­al, too. It gives you joy in view­ing it, every day it lifts your spir­its, it is good for your health. 

    ART IMPROVES HEALTH
    Sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies sug­gest that art improves health and well-being among indi­vid­u­als. Ben­e­fits of art include improve­ment of mem­o­ry and low­er stress lev­els. Pop­u­la­tions stud­ied found that when per­sons viewed tra­di­tion­al and con­tem­po­rary gal­leries it pro­mot­ed well-being in them and includ­ed a pos­i­tive social impact and cog­ni­tive enhancement. 

    Saman­tha Kaplan believes that “Art is gen­uine­ly a gift to the world. It’s what we crave in the human expe­ri­ence. Art gives mean­ing to our lives and helps us under­stand our world. It is an essen­tial part of our cul­ture because it allows us to have a deep­er under­stand­ing of our emo­tions; it increas­es our self-aware­ness, and also allows us to be open to new ideas and expe­ri­ences. Art there­fore con­tin­ues to open our minds and our hearts and shows us what could be pos­si­ble in our world.”

    Eric Saun­ders, “Tree in Fog No. 4”,photograph

    ART IS ALL AROUND US
    In clos­ing, our phys­i­ol­o­gy is deeply effect­ed by feel­ings and emo­tion. Try to keep a bal­ance of good feel­ings in close prox­im­i­ty to your­self dur­ing the day. Per­haps a small paint­ing on your desk, or larg­er one on the wall. Maybe a piece of art sculp­ture at home in your win­dow sill to look at before you walk out the door. Or a calm­ing art­work on the wall of your bed­room to send you off to a peace­ful night’s rest. And be aware of the beau­ti­ful fab­rics you choose for a table­cloth, or your cloth­ing, the jew­el­ry you wear or the lamp by your chair. Art is all around us. 

    HGA arti­cle by Jude Lobe

    ANYTHING-GOES">ANYTHING-GOES

    Here are my mus­ings about the new show. 

    It’s always fun when we brain-storm to come up with an inter­est­ing title for our Member’s show exhibits in Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary. This time the vote went to ANYTHING GOES for the Jan­u­ary exhib­it. There are so many deci­sions that every artist has to make in cre­at­ing just one art piece and this new title offers the artist a challenge. 

    The pos­i­tive thing about a chal­lenge is that it stim­u­lates the artist’s cre­ativ­i­ty. They have a theme/topic to which they should adhere. Here’s how they begin. What piece of art can I cre­ate that express­es Any­thing Goes? What sub­ject, what medi­um, what size, what sur­face, and the list goes on. Some­time an artist may sit in front of a can­vas for hours or they may doo­dle on paper. In any event, we hope you will enjoy and maybe one of  these art­works speaks so loud­ly to you, you’ll just have to take it home to enjoy it every day. 

    ~Jude Lobe View more of Jude’s work at Web­site

     

    HGA welcomes two new members">HGA welcomes two new members

    Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts wel­comes two new mem­bers, Ian Herdell and Pete Rodrigues. Both are wood­work­ers that cre­ate unique fur­ni­ture and wall art. 

    IAN HERDELL

     

    Most of my work is made from sol­id North Amer­i­can hard­woods, although I also use shop cut veneers on some projects. I love to cre­ate fur­ni­ture and art with tan­gi­ble func­tion­al­i­ty and down to earth beau­ty. I am inspired by the beau­ty and struc­ture of forms found in nature and I try to bring some small piece of that into my designs. I find that each tree has a sto­ry to tell, a snap­shot into its unique life. My designs incor­po­rate and har­ness the knots, splits, rot, spalt­ing, spe­cial grain and sculpt­ing done by insects, wind and weath­er. At times I also high­light these “imper­fec­tions” with inlaid shells and stone to bring more atten­tion to them. This approach com­bined with excep­tion­al crafts­man­ship allows me to cre­ate time­less, beau­ti­ful work for any space.

     

    Vis­it IAN’S website

    and.…

    PETE RODRIGUES

    For me cre­at­ing fur­ni­ture as an art form is a process of visu­al­iz­ing what is pos­si­ble, design­ing, build­ing, and then let­ting it be used as func­tion, as much as form. Over the years, I have con­tin­ued to grow in this process. In some ways it has been more of a per­son­al growth, rather than pro­fes­sion­al. I see us all like a piece of wood with our own cracks, twist, bows and rough cut edges. How­ev­er, when put into the hands of the mas­ter crafts­man, the wood can be turned into some­thing beautiful. 

    Along the way I picked up a quote from the late fur­ni­ture mak­er, Sam Maloof. 

    Too often we who design things take all cred­it for what we do and if we have any kind of suc­cess we become very smug and con­ceit­ed about it. I think all one has to do is look at a beau­ti­ful flower, a tree, or what­ev­er, and real­ize what we do is very insignif­i­cant. We are only the instru­ments who make these beau­ti­ful objects.”

    It has tak­en me a while to real­ize, it’s a lot eas­i­er being the instru­ment, then the mas­ter craftsmen!

    Vis­it PETE’S web­site

    FROGS VIEWED AS GOOD LUCK">FROGS VIEWED AS GOOD LUCK

    FROGS VIEWED AS GOOD LUCK: In many cul­tures, frogs are a sym­bol of good luck and abun­dance, part­ly due to the very large num­ber of eggs it lays at one time. In Rome, the frog was a mas­cot believed to bring good luck to the home. In Ire­land, the frog is con­sid­ered a rel­a­tive of the lep­rechaun and capa­ble of play­ing tricks on you when least expect­ed. In Aus­tralia, the Abo­rig­ines believed that frogs brought the thun­der and rain, to help the plants grow. It’s easy to under­stand that idea as in actu­al­i­ty, frogs usu­al­ly bury beneath the earth and come out in large num­bers when it rains to quick­ly lay their eggs.

    In that same vein, the Celts believed the frog rep­re­sent­ed cura­tive or heal­ing pow­ers because of its con­nec­tion with water and cleans­ing rains. 
    The three-legged toad from Chi­na is the tra­di­tion­al pet of the immor­tal Liu Hai, who is the Chi­nese god of wealth. In Japan, sea-far­ers wore frog amulets when trav­el­ing across the riv­er for a safe return. The word for frog in Japan­ese is ‘kaeru’ mean­ing ‘return’.
    < ARTWORK BY NANCY SMITH. Is present­ly in the show INTANGIBLES. Avail­able for pur­chase here: NANCY SMITH’S frogs.

    HOW TO DECORATEROOM">HOW TO DECORATEROOM

    HOW TO DECORATEROOM

    INTRO TO DECORATING
    Whether you live in a cozy apart­ment, sub­ur­ban home, cot­tage by the sea, or cab­in in the moun­tains, your liv­ing room cre­ates a last­ing impres­sion for all who enter. More impor­tant­ly, it makes you com­fort­able. It sets the mood for the home and should be a reflec­tion of the your per­son­al taste. How to begin?

    STEP 1: Vis­it an art gallery and buy the work of art that speaks to you. Art is lit­er­a­cy of the heart. It is func­tion­al. You will use it every sin­gle day. Every time you look at it, it will lift your spirits.

    COLORS: From that paint­ing, pull your col­or scheme for accent cush­ions, rugs and throws.

    LIGHTING: Light­ing can either make or break a room. It can either make it look too dark and dingy or too bright and ster­ile. For a liv­ing room, aim for warm and cosy light­ing and use it to high­light fea­tures. For a mod­ern liv­ing room, sites like www.neonfilter.com can pro­vide amaz­ing light­ing to real­ly set the mood.

    THEME: If that paint­ing moved you, obvi­ous­ly it will make you hap­py when you live with it.
    Accent pil­lows, rugs, cur­tains can all reflect col­ors tak­en from your paint­ing. Look at these three takes on the same room. See how the art changes the mood. If you’re part of a par­tic­u­lar­ly patri­ot­ic fam­i­ly, you may want var­i­ous pieces of Amer­i­cana around the room to reflect this fact. You can con­tin­ue this theme out­side and boost your curb appeal by installing a flag­pole. When select­ing one, you’ll have to think about which height of flag­pole works best for your home.

    Local­ly, a won­der­ful gallery to view art (and the pieces used above) is the Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts, 121 N. Chur­ton St., Hills­bor­ough, NC 27278. Click on images to vis­it website.