Helicon Art Exhibit

The books that sit on our proverbial nightstands seem to leer at us and constantly remind us that we should read them, eventually. Or have I just had too much coffee? Anyway, here’s an obvious statement: It’s hard to read for leisure as a student. It’s also hard to read for leisure as a “young person” generally; millions of things seem to be competing for our attention as we try to learn how to prioritize and multitask. We’re on our phones, running from one place to another. Maybe we’re even running into each other. Amidst the chaos, I often find myself worryingly thinking about all the books that I’m missing out on, all the issues I’m not aware of, and all the conversations I can’t be apart of as a result of not having the time to read certain books.

Here’s another obvious statement: It’s also hard to see art as a student. There’s as much visual art out there as there are books. We know it’s out there, and we know we should see it, eventually. But seeing art, like reading, takes effort. It also requires you to put down your binders, your notebooks, your cell phone, your trombone, and whatever else you might have in your hands, so that you can really see what’s in front of you. I did this on Friday to see the “Luminosity” exhibition sponsored by the undergraduate organization Helicon. In short, the experience amazed me. I was amazed by the work of my peers and by the atmosphere of everyone appreciating the work around them. It also expanded my horizons on the meanings and interpretations of the theme of “luminosity.”

So sure, we all have our own stacks of books waiting to be read and we have all made mental notes to read more often. When I left the exhibition, however, I made a different kind of mental note: Go to more art exhibitions. You might argue that if you can view so much art on the internet, why bother seeing it in person? But it’s worth it to actually seeing art in person. Art, realistically, connotes many different things, but most of all it connotes tangible and material objects, and experiencing the tangibleness and the materialness of the art means that you should probably be in the same room as it. Also, many artists, and especially fledgling artists, may not have websites or even have their work on the internet at all.

I’ll end with this statement, which is perhaps depressing but which is also most likely true: Realistically, when we graduate we probably won’t magically have all the time in the world to read and to see art. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, we can always count on full schedules and hectic lives. I just know that for me, and probably for many of you, reading and seeing art will make it a whole lot more enjoyable and meaningful, not to mention expand our minds.

Here are some upcoming exhibitions in Ann Arbor:

WSG Gallery

“WSG Holiday Show”

December 2, 2014- January 3, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, December 5, 7pm

Ann Arbor Art Center

“A Celebration of Local Architecture and Design”

November 21, 2014- December 7, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, November 21, 6pm

“Art Off the Wall”

December 12, 2014- January 4th, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, December 12, 6pm

“Allegorical Space”

January 9, 2015- February 22, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, January 9, 6pm

Ann Arbor District Library Downtown

“Ann Arbor Women Artists”

Now through November 24, 2014

“Seemingly Unrelated: Paintings by the Saline Painters Guild”

December 2, 2014- January 14, 2015

“New Prints from the AADL Collection”

December 2, 2014- January 14, 2015


–Kara Krause, Senior, English Major, Xylem Submissions Chair


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