Earlier this week, I had a rare extra few minutes in the morning. I had a work meeting at 9:30 and somehow still made my normal train (which was on schedule). And for some reason, I didn’t fall asleep on the train, so I pulled out my Professional Artist Magazine. I laughed out loud when reading an article on “achieving artistic wellness” which gave the advice you’d expect: take care of your physical and emotional self. How? Eat well. I have a six month old and don’t think I’ve cooked more than once or twice since she was born, so do frozen meals count? “Listen to classical music at dinnertime,” the article suggests because “it will help you eat at a slower pace, to savor every bite….” Right. Generally, my meals are a race to see how much of my meal I can consume before my daughter stops amusing herself in the bouncy chair. And remember not to skip breakfast. Did the Luna bar in my hand count?
What else do we need to take care of ourselves? Exercise. I have to believe that carrying the baby around counts for something – especially when she’s in the car seat. That thing is heavy! And sleep. I can’t even pretend to be getting much of that lately. How about the emotional well being? “Maintain a satisfying social life.” No comment. And the last suggestions are to nurture your spirituality and creativity. I haven’t been doing much of that lately either. Amused, I turned the page to see if there was more realistic wisdom in another article.
I arrived in Grand Central Terminal with 20 minutes to spare and thought I’d try to supplement that Luna bar with a real breakfast. With this goal in mind, I deviated from my normal rushed path through GCT and suddenly found myself standing in front of an art quilt exhibition honoring Grand Central’s 100th year. Breakfast forgotten, I entered the NY Transit Museum Gallery and slowly took in the beautiful exhibition. Below are a few pieces that caught my eye (yes, I asked permission to take photos in the gallery).
The quilt on the left below was the one that stopped me in my tracks. When I was done gawking from a distance and stepped in for a closer look, I was not surprised to find that it was the work of Beth Carney. I’ve always been a fan of her work and was excited to see a piece in person. Nearby was a piece by Ligaya Siachongco, an artist I hadn’t heard of before. The detail in her piecing is stunning.
Around a corner, I encountered another piece that made me step in for a closer look, then step back out, and in again, and out… This piece, created by Lisa Ann Bova, is made from hundreds of tiny squares, meticulously placed so that when you step back, an image of Grand Central Terminal becomes clear. This method is a beautiful way to capture the movement and feel of GCT with people constantly rushing in and out (just as I usually do).
So although I passed up the chance to further nourish myself physically, I found an unexpected moment to nourish my creative side; a trade-off that was well worth it!