Friday, July 25, 2014

Works of Art

Helena, Montana has been listed as one of the “100 best small art towns in America.” The Holter Museum, Archie Bray Foundation, the Ghost Art Gallery and many local artists have helped to earn this reputation.

Every December, the Holter Museum hosts a week-long event, called the HO HO Holter Holiday Gift Sale, at which the work of local artists is displayed and sold. I have found some wonderful gifts for friends and family at this event. 
This past year, the gift I found was for ... me!  As I was browsing through the art for sale, I noticed a table with an assortment of little ceramic horses.  They were a variety of colors and markings, and were made to hold candles, with indentations at the spot on their backs where a saddle is usually placed.

handmade ceramic horses
It was love at first sight.  I oohed and aahed over them. However, not being one to give in to impulse purchases of impractical items, I moved on. 

My heart stayed at the table with the whimsical little horses.  I circled back to them several times, and exclaimed over them to my husband. He finally overruled my protests, that they were not practical and I really didn't need them. “You like them - so just buy them.”

He was right. Our lives are made richer by the arts. Everyone's tastes are different, and it is important to select pieces because of how they make you feel, not simply because they are valuable or well thought of by others. Buying a piece of artwork that gives us pleasure and feeds our soul is a good investment. 

It did not take me long to choose the two horses I wanted.  The horse with the black mane and socks and the one with the white nose had both drawn me in with their cheerful, friendly appearances. I felt gleeful as the museum worker carefully wrapped them for me to take home.  She asked if they were a gift; I said, “Yes - for myself.” 

These two little horses have graced both our table and our mantle since December. They have been bareback at times and have carried various colors of candles at others.  At Christmas time they held some Santa Claus shaped candles, and it actually looked as though Santa Claus was mounted on horseback!



Santa on horseback
I have never tired of my purchase, and they often make me smile when I look at them. They were a want, not a need - but I am very glad that I have them.


Do you have a favorite piece of art that brings you joy?

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12 comments :

  1. What beautiful horses. I love that they are candlesticks. Sometimes you see something and just know it's meant to be yours. We don't have a lot of artwork, but the things we do have were purchased because we love them.

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    1. Artwork is most precious when we love it ... that is why my children's elementary school ceramic pieces still have the place of honor on my mantel!

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  2. Love them. And some things were made to make your heart sing and ease your soul.
    I fell in love with a painting one day when I went into an art gallery to get warm. It was completely impractical. I was away from home for work, it was dearer than I could afford. Twenty years later it hangs on my bedroom wall and I smile at it each night and morning.

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    1. I'm sure you are so happy you bought that painting - even if it meant going with out something else. I love your expression, “make your heart sing and ease your soul.” Exactly!

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  3. I have a set of hand thrown mugs that I just love....beautiful and useful....I have ordered some plates to go with them.

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    1. How lovely - I really enjoy drinking and eating from handmade ceramics!

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  4. I bought a sculpture about a year ago, everytime my daughter sees it she tells me how ugly it is. It not worth anything I think we may have even bought it at Kirklands or Pier1. Its a red heart that turns into 2 people kissing. My husband picked it up and said it reminded him of us. Of course we had to have it!

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    1. Of course you did - and beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Ignore your daughter on this one, Rena. What a romantic man your husband must be! :)

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  5. i have so many of them, although they are a bit goofy

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    1. If you like them - that is all that matters!

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  6. I family friend who was an artist - Cora Rupp - left this world two years ago. When they were clearing her studio her daughter offered up some of Cora's original art for sale. We bought a beautiful piece - a serious splurge for us - that now hangs in our eat-in kitchen. It makes me smile every morning.

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    1. In my experience, when there is a personal association to art it is all the more precious. I am sorry about your friend.

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