Art and the Great Outdoors

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, July 7, 2016

The heat of July has us both enjoying and dreading the heat.  A day outside, regardless of age, is enjoyable.  In one day you can discover the connections between nature and art.

Leaving out any discussion of the Golden Ratio we can see that the natural world influences, inspires and is reflected in art. A connection to art can deepen your appreciation of nature and help us take a closer look at our world.

An indoor summer visit to a museum or art gallery should inspire our outdoor spirit. Landscape, seascape, and still life capture and share how an artist experienced a moment.

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The opportunity to see the world through another’s eyes hopefully inspires us to stop for a few minutes on a sunny day as we sit under the shade of a tree to observe the colors, patterns, and how these come together to create our sense of place.

Photographs allow us to stop and review a moment in time for the detail we miss.

While historical exhibits of artifacts, instruments, or records open our minds to the possibilities of the natural world.

Viewing artifacts not only teaches us about past cultures but inspires us the think about how our ancestors fashioned functional tools and decorative crafts with the knowledge and technology of their time.

Imagine if we applied this vision what we could create? Has our knowledge or how we create really changed that much?

Oxford’s rich history is the perfect opportunity to mix the outdoors and art. The story of how the town was founded, why the university is located here, and the design of buildings offer a tour of the town that mixes art and nature.

The ability to explore art, artifacts and history is available all summer at the University of Mississippi Museum and the historic homes and sites preserved by Oxford.

The museum’s exhibits cover art, folk traditions and antiquities with an archeologic study that will occur at Rowan Oak. The Historic homes LQC Lamar’s House and Cedar Oaks offer studies in design, artifacts and history.  Each of these spaces is open free to the public. They make a great stopping points in a summer tour of Oxford.

Wayne Andrews is the executive director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.