Art As Expression

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Art is defined as, “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” For centuries, art has been a form of expression for millions of people. It is a way to have your voice be heard, express your feelings, make a statement, or tell your story.

We have all passed through the expression tunnels on campus, and we’ve all seen the many different types of art in these tunnels. Whether it be senseless, crude remarks, information about a random club meeting, or alluring graffiti art, numerous expressions carry down the inside walls all the way to the outside stairs.

Today, I saw a whole new form of art plastered along the walls of these colorfully painted tunnels.

I first heard about the art piece from my mom, who had sent me a screenshot of a group’s Facebook post. It contained a picture like the one below, along with a paragraph about how moving the piece was. So, I had to go see it for myself.

Although I strongly encourage everyone to go and see this for themselves while it’s still up there, I did type what was painted on the wall word for word (and will include it down below) so that I could share the message of this emotional, meaningful piece of art.

The message I took from this was to appreciate life and every single moment of it. Appreciate the people in your life, as well as the people who may not be in your life anymore, but were at one point. Appreciate your struggles, and the obstacles which were once in your way that you’ve since overcome. Maybe that sounds cliché, or like something that’s been repeated to you a million times over and over. But after reading this person’s heart-wrenching story, I feel like it needs to be repeated a million times again.

My heart ached for whoever was vulnerable enough to share such a story, and I pray the best for them. To be able to share their pain and correlate their experiences with my own was truly eye-opening, I gained so much gratitude just by standing there, reading their every word.

I also gained appreciation for the wonderful university we attend, and how they welcome such beautiful expression with open arms.

The piece is in the tunnel right in front of Duck Pond if you’d like to go see it. Here is what it says:

“On Sunday it’ll be a year.

I can’t remember your favorite color. I think it was blue, but I can remember how purple your hand got after you let me hold it when we went through that haunted house ride. I can’t remember your favorite food but I know you liked Entenmann’s banana nut muffins. I remember we played Zelda just to ride the horse around, how excited we were to discover a secret playground at Holiday Park, and how you and Chip sauntered off together when we went to Disney World. I remember playing haunted house and restaurant and Barbies and spy. How you would turn on a song and we’d see who could write the most lyrics the fastest. I can’t remember if I ever told you how much I love you. Growing up together you always taught me the “grown up” stuff. I remember you pulled me into your closet where no one could hear and told me what “sexy” meant and what a period was. You showed me how to shave my legs and how to put mousse in my hair to make it pretty. And when I stayed over for a week while my mom was away you straightened my hair every day so I could be beautiful. You helped me write my first love note, then laughed when I gave it to him. You were always reminding me you were the elder, even if only by four days. I don’t remember the day we met, how could I, we were only four months old. Four months. That means we met in October. I’m not sure when we grew apart. Sometime in high school, or late middle school. Even though we barely talked, I was still proud to have ever called you my best friend. When we were 16 you came to my grandfather’s funeral and sat with me at the wake to make sure I was okay. You laughed and smiled when I said I still liked dolphins like it was a secret you knew. The last time I saw you was between our 21st birthdays. You invited me to go see a Dixie Chicks concert with you and I could feel that we had become distant, but I still loved you. You were never afraid, not when a man whistled at you when you bought cigarettes, you glared and told him “I’m not a dog!” And showed him the toughness everyone knew you for. You were always so strong; so when I got a text from my aunt at work that said, “Sorry about Sam” I knew she couldn’t mean you. But your head went through Tommy’s windshield and now here I am left wishing I could have been a better friend for you. Guilty for letting us drift apart and not pulling you back into my life. Guilty for letting my best friend from four months old leave and me not know her favorite color after 21 years. Guilty for letting you leave my mind for so long, but now you never will again.

 

- G. 9/28/2017”

Editor's Note

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