The Three Lessons I Learned From World Renowned Glass Artist Lino Tagliapietra
On the first Thursday of the month in Seattle the doors of the downtown art world are thrown open and galleries all across the downtown corridor welcome art aficionados as well as novices like me to enter and view their work.
Last night I attended the first Thursday festivities with friends that are not only well-educated art lovers, but patrons of several glass blowing schools. We started with a private tour of the world renowned glass artist Lino Tagliapietra’s new showroom and then headed to the Traver Gallery where I met Jim Mongrain and Preston Singletary. Here’s what I learned about art last night.
Guides open your eyes. My guides last night not only provided me with access to an exhibit I would not have seen without them, they made the evening more enjoyable because of their infectious enthusiasm. Having a guide is common sense while traveling to a country we don’t know. The same holds true for an environment we don’t know. Guides open doors, open eyes and make our trips more rewarding and fun.
Follow your eyes. My eyes were drawn to a particular type of glass while other types fell flat for me. I thought at first this was rooted in a lack of appreciation, but was reminded that in the highly subjective and oftentimes pricey world of art, beauty remains in the eyes of the beholder. From one forty year art collector I was told that when I bring art into my home it first has to be brought in through my eyes and then into my heart. If your eyes don’t land on art that speaks to you and opens your heart you shouldn’t own it.
Asking questions is essential. At first I felt intimidated about asking some of my questions. They weren’t very well informed questions as I am a novice in this world and I didn’t want to come across as a redneck who had just fallen off a hay truck. But I can’t learn or grow in my appreciation unless I ask questions. I was reminded that the only dumb question is the unasked question.
My experience last night confirmed for me that having some original art is important to me and surrounding myself with art that inspires me, uplifts me and is the expression of an artists talent, skill and love is something I want to have in my life.
I was reminded by guides, art and artists last night that leadership is so much less a mechanical paint by numbers affair and considerably more an art form. Leaders are a guide that make the unfamiliar exciting and invigorating, they open our eyes to new possibilities and they can be the catalyst for asking questions that illuminate and inspire.
What would happen if this week you shifted your thinking and viewed your leadership as a work of art? What if you were a purveyor of beauty, artistry and engagement? My experience tells me that not only would your leadership become richer and more rewarding for you personally, it would become richer and more rewarding for your bottom line.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”