by Nic Olson
I was an ignorant teenager once. I can remember this well, like it was only a few years ago or something. I used to dislike arts. I didn’t know much of them, so I just thought they were a sort of exhibitionism used to satiate the masses of eccentric young people that already dressed funny. I was a sports and science man. I figured that sports were like arts but exciting and science was like arts but logical. I didn’t feel like I needed to try to understand the inner workings of countless literary legendaries to know more about the world.
But as I exposed myself to new and different ideas and thought processes I slowly came to realize what the arts actually were. Not only amazing paintings and sculptures, poems or plays could be considered art. My favourite songwriters and bands are artists. The most mesmerizing and thought engaging movies are artistically founded. The photographs by my favourite photographers are part of the art scheme. The most intricate tattoo or piece of graffiti is raw and real art. Art is everything, not in a way like it is more important than everything else, but in that it can be found in anything at all. Art isn’t only for the eccentric and poorly dressed. It is for everyone that knows where to look and knows what is real.
I went to the 40th Annual Regina Folk Festival this past weekend. I saw Corb Lund, Matt Goud, Andy Shauf play a workshop together. I breathed in the talents of a handful of artists while swimming in the golden shine of the prairie sun and realized that I was experiencing the arts. Those eccentrics dancing around while I stood leaning against a Regina elm tree, arms crossed with indifference on my face, but loving it all.
The itch of creating art has been hitting me lately. Hitting me like how it hits my loins when one of those cute girl hippy singers dances,
bending her legs one at a time while flipping her hair and carressing souls with harmonies from heaven. It is similar to the “Teacher, can I go to the washroom?” dance of second grade. I’ve always wanted to play guitar but haven’t pursued it to the full. I always wished I was born into a guitar playing family. Or I wished I had the discipline and committment to finish something I started. I always wished I could explain myself or express myself in an epic acoustic ballad. But I have accepted that I may never do that. In my mind, writing literature is still art, but less revered and relevant than music. People take a struggling acoustic musician more seriously than a guy that writes repetitive blogs on his parents computer. Although I’m equally as artistically legit, right?
Night one in Montreal I experienced another important ‘art festival’, 10 bands for $10, and I watched a different kind of the eccentrics swing their arms around in fits of rage. With Poison the Well and Crime in Stereo on the bill, even the non-artsy bands are based on principles and formulas that are, in essence, art.
I may still be considered a sports man, going to experience my first professional tennis at Montreal’s Rogers Cup, but as two former number one ranked tennis players face off, I cannot say that art was not in the brilliance of the shots, or of the story the match was based on.
Now I know, from years of looking at the world through the eyes of a scientific pseudo jock, that art is what ties it all together. Art is in everything, like how atoms are the basis of all matter, or like how testosterone is the blood of all sports. Let’s do a chestpump to celebrate our revelation.