I encourage others to take in the exhibit at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center while it lasts (through Friday). The title of the exhibit is “Central Valley Threads: Picking Out Strands of Life and Art in the Central Valley.” To be certain, they are merely strands, a few threads that strive for some representation of the great weave of California’s Central Valley past and present; no one should expect to be bowled over. But it’s effective toward something I believe necessary to true progress: moving beyond our attraction to an ideal toward greater appreciation for the real. We can’t help being attracted to an ideal.
The problem comes when it contributes to a kind of demoralization, or depreciation, in the real. It’s a great example of how art can help enable us to see ourselves in a more poetic light, and, I believe, it can potentially become part of a threshold into a new poetic era.