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Thoughtful Thursday: On Art & Family

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” – George Santayana

This week, Acme is advertising their free turkey special and sales on baking supplies and this is a sure sign that the holidays are just around the corner. Acme reminds us it’s not too early to stock your larder in anticipation of festivities. We are entering that time of year when families gather from near and far, practice their traditions while celebrating the holidays. Even as COVID-19 looms over our ability to gather, impacting our plans, the need to be with family grows ever stronger.

Family is central to who we are and how we interact with the world; they connect us to both our past and our future. When we are together, looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future.”(Gail Lumet Buckley). This reckoning grounds us, gives us a sense of security and provides that proverbial anchor in a storm. Even in a grander scheme, family get-togethers are central to society as it is when we congregate that our customs and practices are assimilated generationally. When Mom asks her daughter-in-law to make the family recipe for Pumpkin Pie or cornbread stuffing she has ensured that the next generation will enjoy that dish at their Thanksgivings. And when Uncle John shares the same story for the umpteenth time, it becomes part of family lore that will be repeated by nieces and nephews for years to come.

Of course families can be frustrating and holidays chaotic and maybe more so now with our current polarized climate. Holidays are the perfect time to let your family members know how much you care about them, not their politics, not their lifestyle and not their choices…them!  This is the perfect time to reflect on your blessings and how you can improve the lives of those around you. This year the holiday meal may be shared via Zoom or Duo so it is more important than ever to honor those not present with a favorite food and/or memory. Storytelling is how we share our values, traditions and character. There is no greater gift than a story about a member of the family. Each story is a piece of the puzzle that represents who we are.

There are so many similarities between art and family. Art, like your family, is something you cannot walk away from unchanged. Art speaks to us without words and in a universal language we can all understand. Art has no shelf-life; it lasts in perpetuity. Long after you are gone, others will look at your art and tell your story, feel a connection to you and in so doing, share their own story. Artists spend their lifetime creating, in pursuit of the masterpiece that captures a person’s soul, speaks to them at a visceral level and changes people and art’s impact is that people change the world!

To find the masterpiece that moves you, visit our gallery in Chestertown or shop virtually at

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