Cape Cod Art Preservation Society
ESSAY

Art Makes a House a Home

Oil Painting Of Burgess House Marstons Mills On Cape Cod By Jeffrey Dale Starr If you've ever lived in military town (Jacksonville, San Diego, San Antonio) you've probably seen it.

Dwellings with bare walls.

I can understand why military families are reluctant to hang a bunch of art on the wall: at the drop of a hat they can be reassigned and it just means more stuff to pack up.

However, I think it is absolutely worth the extra effort.

Like most people, I've experienced financial ups and downs throughout my life. At times I was able to afford a spacious home with nice furnishings. At other times, I was broke and lived in an itty-bitty apartment with the bare necessities.

But regardless of my living conditions, one thing has remained consistent: my walls are filled with art.

Being a painter, I definitely have an advantage in that I can create my own art at a low cost. Plus, I have other artist friends and we end up trading pieces with one another.

It's not really an issue of finances, however. Even those on a limited budget can pick up a print. It doesn't even need to be framed.

What a difference it would make to replace a bare wall with a Sargent, Monet or Gainsborough! Instead of staring at the white void of an apartment living-room wall, you can be reminded daily of the beauty and majesty that can exist even in a heartless world.

This has been especially useful when I've had to work in an office cubicle. Instead of the horrid burlap for pushpins and company calendars, my day was brightened by prints of Dalí, Renoir or Matisse.

I'm certain that even people who don't think they care about art would have their quality of life improved by hanging up pieces of art here and there. If only at a subconscious level, they would be edified by the tacit reminder that we are more than cogs in a wheel, more than programmed automatons.

We are brilliant, we are creative, we are human.