Art Appreciation Day

There are many holidays that I would deride as "Hallmark Holidays," which retailers take advantage of in an effort to sell more stuff. I'm not sure if there is an "offical" Art Appreciation Day yet. In any event, I think it is important to have one sometime in our lives, whether it is on a fixed day or not, on an annual basis or once every few years.

Ever the pragmatist, I used to somewhat dismissive of the fine arts (particularly "modern art") as a waste of time and money. However, ever since I took a solo trip to the San Francisco MoMA and spent a whole day to really look at the exhibits with a critical eye, I discovered a newfound sense of appreciation for art in general. It is a feeling that I cannot describe with words (I guess it would be somewhere along the lines of "the Sublime," for the literally-inclined), but in any event, I think everyone should be able to experience it.

Trouble is, funding for the arts have been drastically slashed year after year, because the decisionmakers often see the arts as "nonessential" compared to repairing roads, building schools, and providing essential medical care. When a household is cash-strapped, it does not make sense to spend money on cultural events. While food for the body rightfully has priority over food for the soul, the latter does not have to get to the point of being completely neglected. Many museums have the occasional free admissions day (or hours) which, based on past experiences, have been surprisingly popular. They are not hugely publicized, but thanks to the modern-day search engine, blogs, and various websites, it is fairly easy to seek them out.

It has been years since I visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), even though I drive past it on a regular basis. I have been interested in seeing the Vanity Fair exhibit for myself after reading much (good and bad) press written on it. I plan to fulfill that item on my to-do list on Monday, when Target is sponsoring the free admission (yet another reason to love Target). There are other free admission days this year: Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. You can find more information about the free days, along with other LACMA activities, here.

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