What Art Means to Me
By Larry Robinson
For me art is not an intellectual experience. Instead, it is emotional and aesthetic. VCU was among the first schools to put all of the arts together. Visual arts such as painting, sculpture, art history, etc. Likewise, the Music major areas such as piano, organ, carillon, music history, music ed, voice, violin, etc. attracted students from states other than Virginia. I
In my earlier years of teaching (when the school was called RPI) full-time faculty were encouraged to take one course per semester at no cost, so in September I signed up for Creative Writing in the English Department. Several of the stories I wrote then may soon get published thanks to my daughter Grace who is a novelist.
Sometimes the best teachers are not in the classroom. When I read Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind and Isak Dinesen’s Off to Africa, I was thrilled by the stories on my first reading, but read them again to study the style of expression that made their books work so well.
In January I took a course in painting. I have always loved beautiful colors: the gold jewelry made by the Egyptians in 3000 BC, the stained glass windows in the French Cathedrals of 1500 AD, painters such as Renoir, Monet and my favorite of all Salvador Dali. I am impressed by their technique, but inspired by their creativity.
I learned the importance of creativity in high school in our physics class. Mrs. Denton presented us with a problem, but gave no hint toward how to solve it. Only two of us got it right! John Dowling was already planning to major in Math in college, but I would be a music major, of course. She said I had used trigonometry to get the right answer, a type of math I
had never heard of.
I hope that creativity shows in the paintings I submit to the jury in October.