Act 219

Check out an art gallery

I’m sad to say that a day’s parking in Ottawa was more expensive than a day pass to the National Art Gallery, but such is life. Sixteen dollars was spent on parking in order to spend twelve dollars on admission. ¬†We tend to socialize what is priceless and privatize that which is commercial. My boys (who got free admission) and I enjoyed some wonderful, priceless art today. And I’m grateful. So go see some art if you can. It’s a cost effective way to take in some culture and culture is nothing more (and nothing less) than our shared experience as human beings. You’d be surprised how much kids appreciate pieces that are older than old and more famous than famous. I was. And I’m delighted that they got to experience it.

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Act 112

Buy Original Art

It’s a bit sad that I have to distinguish art as original – as opposed to unoriginal – which is sadly what passes as art in most homes – mass produced decorator products sold at major retailers – it’s not art – it’s decor – and as far as decor goes, if it came from Winners or Home Sense or Pier One, you can be sure that only you and several other hundred thousand people have its uniqueness as your own.

Decor is important. It makes our homes our own. Trouble is, we live in a world of imitation. I’m sure you’re not the only one to notice that many of us have the same decor in our homes as other people we know. Why is that?

When I was little, my favourite pass time was spending time with my grandmothers – each as unique as they come. And their homes had marvelous, wonderful unique things with stories all of their own. My grandmaman wrought iron sculpture of the Eiffel Tower she brought home from her trip to Paris. My Gramma’s brass sculpture of a fishing boat from Hong Kong. That was art to me because it told their story in a way nothing else could. If I could go back in time, I’d go to both of those places to take it all in again.

My parents have always been great supporters of the arts and while that might not have made my house the house of choice for us as teens, it certainly made me a happier more appreciative person. I love art too. And our home is graced with lovely, small, modest, unique and original pieces that help tell our stories as much as the stories of the talented artists who created the works.

How is this debt defying, you ask? We’ll, here’s the kicker. Everything we’ve purchased over the years is worth much more than we paid for it. It’s an asset. Not an expense. It has and will keep its value. What’s more, if you buy Canadian art to display at your place of work, it’s a legitimate (and delightful) expense. I wish my printer and roll-y office chair brought me as much joy as my art. Beautiful, original, debt defying art.

Plus, when you buy art, you support local artists, local culture who in turn support your local economy. Spending never looked (or felt) so good.