"If This isn't Nice, What is?"
Yesterday, between work and doctors' appointments and child pick up, a friend and I managed to squeeze in a quick visit to the Kurt Vonnegut exhibit at Cornell's Johnson Art Museum. Another friend of ours had posted some pictures of the exhibit on Facebook, and both of us were surprised that Vonnegut had another creative outlet aside from writing.
There is sheer joy on the walls of the Johnson in that exhibit. If Vonnegut did not always think highly of humanity as a whole, due in part to his experiences in WW2, his artwork demonstrates a whimsy and zest for life that is contagious. You can't help but smile as you wander - he was influenced by many of the great 20th century artists, but his work is entirely his own. Many wonderful and thought-provoking quotes have been shared as well:
I won't pretend that I can offer an art critic's assessment of Vonnegut's drawings, aside from saying that his color palette was pleasing and the way he filled his sketchbook page - the scale and the proportions - was very pleasing. The subject matter continually made us grin and call each other's attention to a piece.
A snippet of a commencement speech he gave in 1999 illustrates his own desire to cherish a life well lived:
Practice an art and take a moment to acknowledge when you are happy. Those seem like very sound rules for life.