I've always loved art, although I'm a very unartistic person. Lately I've been thinking about art and why we have it. Why do people feel a desire to create art? Write poems? Write stories? Sing? Dance? Sculpt? Build buildings? Why is every piece so different and why do we all have such different tastes? I don't really know the answers to these questions, and I think that the answers are myriad. Perhaps we want to teach a lesson, express our feelings, or just explore the aesthetic properties of color, shape, sound, or texture. Each of us experiences the world in a different way and I think that all forms of art are an attempt to put a piece of ourselves out into the universe in the best way we know how. Today I spent a lot of time looking through the slide show of the most recent LDS Church International Art Competition. I find it fascinating to see how so many different people interpret the gospel and share their testimonies through different types of art. I also know that some of the pieces appealed to me strongly while others did not, and that different people would probably not share my opinion. It's a slide show and so I cannot link to specific pieces, but I wish I could have some of them hanging on my walls. I also wish that I could see some of them used more in Church settings, like the Ensign or in other publications. I realized that sometimes the more unusual or unconventional pieces appealed to me most, partly because of their unfamiliarity. Sometimes the purpose of art is simply to help us see familiar things in a new way. There is a painting that depicts a glass of clear water on a table, in symbolism of Christ as the living water. This unusual depiction of Christ in a purely symbolic way forced me to really ponder the symbolism of water and what it means in a gospel context. Another of my favorite forms of art that I love to ponder (and can't create) is poetry. I'd been hoping to write a bit about some of my favorite poems, since April is National Poetry Month, but I'm not sure I'll have time. There are some great blogs highlighting poetry here and here. I may not be an artist in any sense of the word, but at least I can appreciate the work of others.