Experiencing Art

September 2011. Originally copyrighted and posted in "Type for Life" by the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type, Gainesville, FL. Used with permission.

I do not have a bone of artistic creativity in my body but I have a great deal of appreciation and even envy of those who do. I am still grateful to my 7th grade art teacher for encouraging me to at least try. Actually she did coax a few pieces out of me.

And I am quite pleased that my two children did not take after me in this regard; they have talent and skill.

In spite of my lack of artistic abilities, I do, however, enjoy going to art museums to look at the creativity of others. Actually my favorite type of art comes in the form of an outdoor sculpture garden.

As an ESTJ these museums offer an odd kind of efficiency - I can get some exercise, add to my vitamin D levels (good old sunshine - no walking in the rain for this patron; however, I also use sunscreen if needed), delight in the art, savor an outdoor experience, and enjoy my companions (while I do go to museums on my own, doing so with others is much more fun for me). Goodness, that's five accomplishments all rolled into one experience!

I confess... one of my real pleasures of the sculpture garden comes not from the art, but from the words titling and/or describing the art. I often make it a game; I stroll casually over to the installation, glance at it trying to figure out what on earth it is supposed to be and then read the title.

With my companions I ask for their interpretations and title. Then I read the actual name, congratulating those who come the closest.

Imagine my disappointment when sculpture is marked "Untitled." Was the sculptor illiterate (just kidding!)? Did he/she want to encourage our imagination? No matter the reason, Im still disappointed. The piece seems unfinished without a title, even a bad one. And finishing something is important to ESTJs.

Another favorite art viewing activity is an annual event at our local museum, the Minneapolis Museum of Art. They sponsor an "Art in Bloom" display. Florists and anyone with an interest in flowers are invited into the museum to pick a favorite piece. They are then to create a floral arrangement to complement, mimic, illustrate, (or whatever) their chosen object.

Some artists pick up on the colors, others on the shapes, others on the spirit, and others on something I have missed entirely.

I quickly learned the best time to go when the crowds are the fewest and the flowers, the freshest. (Did you know that the artists have to pick off the stamens because they hold pollen that may get into the ventilating system of the museum and damage the paintings? Yes, ESTJs like facts like those!)

I make it a tradition to attend each year.

What are your art "habits" and joys? How do they reflect your personality?