Light can mesmerize us in almost any form — the sun’s rise or set, the long stretch of our shadow on the sidewalk, the rainbow prism of a lead glass window, shadow puppets on a ceiling.
It both reveals and creates the kind of art that changes each time you look. It can define a time period, a setting, a mood.
The Paine Art Center and Gardens connected all of these in a single, dazzling display called “The Nature of Light”.
“By combining historic architecture and traditional gardens with contemporary sculptures and innovative lighting, we hope to provide a fascinating experience that enhances your appreciation of the wonders of nature, math, and science as well as human ingenuity and creativity,” the opening display read.
Check. Check and double check.
We loved strolling through the beautiful Paine mansion, on which construction began in 1927 and halted for a stretch due to the Depression. It opened to the public as a museum in 1948. I had not been to the Paine in several years and was amazed all over again by the size and scope of its gardens.
This display combined modern light and sculptures designed to enhance the vintage chandaliers and Tiffany lamps that have been a part of the museum for nearly a century.
The effect was a beautiful conjunction of dignity and dazzle, history and innovation.
If we can appreciate how technological developments can enhance the nature of vintage art and natural light without ceding their beauty, might we apply those principles to other areas of our life?
In that way, light becomes synonymous with optimism.
That’s what I was thinking as I made my way through that very cool exhibit anyway.
Aren’t we humans magical creatures?