|writings || books || projects || madvertising || odds & ends || about || bio|
Art & Culture
Auld Lang Syne
lessons learned from this profession
ok, I'm not the guy from SNL,
mostly true stories from my
more "it's all about me"
Iím at -7.13/-7.33 on The
Political Compass. Where
observations on the human condition
take a trip with me
|Published in "Legacy Online" July, 2003|
OpportunityThomas Edison said: "Most people miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Anyone who has created anything can vouch for the truth of this statement. It is amazingly difficult to make something where there was nothing. Staring at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen, putting gesso on a canvas, handling a unformed lump of clay . . . these are moments filled with both great possibility and great dread. The same is true of looking at an empty storefront and imagining an art gallery, or a run-down house where there might be a home for abused women. Any time you try and impose your will on the chaos of the world, to make it a better place, you will be faced with challenges, set-backs, and possibly even defeat. Nothing is guaranteed.
Then why do it? Why expend your life energy, your money, perhaps even your health and well being, trying? Because while there is always the chance for failure, because even though there will always be critics no matter what you attempt to do, to create is life-affirming and immensely rewarding. A close friend who is a person of deep religious conviction says that it is what brings us closest to God. I donít know about that, but I do know that when I look around at what we've accomplished in the last seven years at Legacy, I find it deeply satisfying. It's never been easy, and often it has been a struggle to just keep going and keep the doors open. Other galleries have come and gone, a sober reminder of just how difficult it is operate such a business, no matter how good your intentions or deep your desire.
It is only through hard work, through taking necessary risks, through confronting the uncertainties in your own soul, that you can make the world a better place. To take advantage of an opportunity requires sacrifice, intelligence, perspective . . . but above all it requires hard work. I salute all those creators who strive to improve the world in spite of the risks, the critics, and the challenges. I may not always agree with their goals or their methods, but I respect that profound motivation, and the dedication they demonstrate.
To end with another favorite quote, this one from Jean Sibelius: "Pay no attention to what the critics say; no one ever put up a statue in honor of a critic."
all work © James T. Downey, 1993-present
photos © Martha K. John, 1994-present
site designed and maintained by:
Coeurbois Graphic Design