Island Arts: A tradition of art

There are many beliefs many of us have along with many traditions many of us share.

I grew up honoring tradition. I don’t think that I was the only one. I think there are many of us who have our beliefs because of tradition. Whether it is family oriented, faith oriented, cultural or just out a resistance to change, tradition is part of our lives.

I grew up in a large family. I have five sisters and three brothers. Growing up in a large family was all about relationships and traditions. There was the typical Sunday dinner. There were the family holiday celebrations, birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day and of course St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Paddy’s day in our household was always a tradition, even with my Dad. His tradition was not to try and stop it from happening!

Tradition in my world has been the handing down of patterns of behavior, practices, and beliefs that are valued by a culture, by my ethnicity. Since I was the eighth of nine children born in our family, much tradition was set before me. I remember Christmas in Connecticut; New Years at my parents, St. Patrick’s Day in New York. I remember homemade cakes on birthdays, dressing in costume for trick or treating with the entire family and Memorial Day picnics at my sister’s. I remember waking on Easter morning, the dining room table was filled with Easter candy for everyone, we didn’t have individual baskets. I remember the pre-summer ice tea parties down the shore.

When I think of all the traditions and holidays, I remember the fun, the family, the frolic, the music, the colors.

You knew it was coming. You knew there was a way to tie this into the arts. Holidays just wouldn’t be the same without music and color. Easter we correlate with spring and the pastel palette; Christmas primarily red and green along with the hundreds of carols that exist. Memorial Day, Labor Day and Independence Day are all about the red, white and blue and those marching bands! Halloween orange and black, birthdays, always themed (Happy Birthday Mom!) and St. Paddy’s it’s all about the wearing of the green, the dancing, fiddles, bagpipes, and song.

Tradition is a long-established action or pattern of behavior in a community, often one that has been handed down from generation to generation.

Here on Marco Island we have our own traditions. Seeing as modern Marco was officially opened in 1965 and the Art League of Marco Island was established in 1969, I would dare to say that the arts have been a tradition of this community; coming into its 40th Anniversary what better time than now to become part of a tradition.

As tradition marks, March continues to thrive with the Sixth Annual Stone Sculpting Exhibit through April 4; great reception to meet the artists today from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Also, April has become Aspiring Artists Month, a tradition developed three years ago, as the center adds two exhibits during the month. In addition to its traditional Collier County High School Scholarship Applicants Exhibit, an Adult Student Art Exhibit, with short performances by students of the Harp Playing Made Easy program, and the Young Artist Academy Exhibit.

Tradition also continues with the Sixth Annual Artist Studio Tour on April 3. A chance to visit private studios of the three artists, meet an artist as she exhibits at Blue Mangrove Gallery and tour the Stone Sculpting Deck of the Art League Marco Island’s Center for the Arts.

Tradition runs deep and tradition changes. I no longer have all the opportunities I did before to share in every family tradition, so I am starting new ones. Why not give it a try! Why not take an opportunity to participate in the arts today and start your own tradition.

Volunteer with a friend, enroll in a class; start something new or pick up where you left off. Teach your children, your spouse, your friends the impact the arts have on their lives. Start a tradition to support the Art League, your, Marco Island Center for the Arts.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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