When I returned from the store, I laid the paints on the table and decided I should first study for the course I am taking from Jacksonville State University. Two hours, I told myself, and then I would paint. However, I could not stand the wait. I laid the books aside and painted the feather. I spent an hour and a half painting, which meant that I had to then study until the late afternoon. I simply had to paint those jeans.
Those among us with creative desires simply must create. The urge builds and we get no rest until our artistic expression is made. My feather didn’t look quite as I wanted, but I had fun painting it.
I thought of an artist’s desire to create on Friday night as I sat and listened to the performers at the “Anniston’s Got Talent” show. This event is part of Anniston’s 130th anniversary, and it made me proud that Anniston had sponsored such a fine event. Mayor Vaughn Stewart made that point, too, and he said the event would be an annual one.
Talent shows give different kinds of artists an opportunity to express themselves. Winning is not the goal. There were four winners named -- all deserving -- but other artists deserved to win and didn’t. How can one compare a harmonica player, a singer, and a belly dancer? They were all among the best in their modes of expression and seemed to be glad to be a part of the show. Their enjoyment came through loud and clear.
During intermission, one of my friends said she felt inadequate that she was not talented in any performance skill. I know her, though, and she expresses herself well – through serving the community, being a good wife and mother, and living a balanced life. Is that not more important than artistic expression? I think so. Still, I can see how people who have no particular skill in creating art or in performing artistically might feel.
Performing is fun for the performer. I know this because I am a clarinetist. No one who listens to my music enjoys it as much as I do. (My neighbors might even groan when I practice on my back porch at times.) There must be some kind of magic that comes from performing an artistic skill. There are no words to describe why I like playing the clarinet so much, a skill I laid aside for about 40 years. I’m glad I re-discovered it. Even I am in awe of some folks, though, such as the rare talent as that of the Hantastic Hands performer Spencer Lancaster. He played his bare hands Friday night as a type of flute – I had never heard anything like it. Also, the Kappa Omega Psi step group delighted the audience with their coordinated rhythms, and Consolidated Publishing writer Hervey Folsom captivated us with a humorous monologue about a June bug. It was an excerpt from a CAST play called “Smoke on the Mountain.”
During the show’s intermission, I spoke with a painter of watercolors, a jewelry maker, and an artist of mixed media. They were all excited to talk about their work, as were the performers I spoke with.
After watching these performances and observing all of those who contributed to the evening, I say thanks. The emcees were good. The backdrop was striking, the sound was clear and not too loud, the accompanists performed amazingly, the tech crew worked heartily, and the lights enhanced the show. Also, thanks should be given to the judges, the performers and the visual artists and an author whose work was displayed in the lobby area. The committee that planned the event should get extra thanks, as well as the city of Anniston, CAST, Anniston-Oxford Reality Co., Travis P. Phillips, DMD, and Noble Bank and Trust who sponsored it. Thanks are also due to CAST’s director Kim Dobbs, CAST Kids, and others who helped in various ways. We audience members sure appreciated what you all did.
However, many seats sat empty in the back of the Performing Arts Center. Next year, let’s fill them up.
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