Letter to the Editor: what gets me through, versatility and caring

Dear Editor,

I recently gave an interview to Joey Erickson for his article about my art exhibit “Versatility” at the 410 Project. I was glad to interview at the Reporter because as a former MNSU writing instructor and a lifelong learner I have a message for students.

Communication—verbal, written, conveyed with or without body language, performed or produced through artistic expression–is complex and often very nuanced. It is hard to distill and summarize, to interpret and paraphrase, and to accurately quote, even if you have adequate time for all the stages of the writing process.

Now add speed, brevity, and ubiquity, all characteristics of the communication we are required and desire to process and produce on a daily basis these days. It falls on us individually and communally to figure out what we value enough to give time and concentration to. There are a lot of demands on our time. I get that.

I titled my art exhibit at the 410 Project “Versatility” because as a selftaught artist I’m exploring new methods, and as a person concerned about what’s happening on our planet, I’m struck by serious concerns on a daily basis. The title “Versatility” spoke to a need to bring instinct, skill, and life experience to art-making. But it also speaks to the necessity for adaptability in this fast-moving unpredictable world.

My half-hour Zoom interview with Joey elapsed quickly. At the end he asked me to speak to the main point of my art exhibit at the 410. I wanted to send you a message about loving who you are just because you are unique and worth it. About not comparing yourself to others even though you are surrounded by competition. About resilience and getting up after failure and trying again. And finally, about finding something you love to do, finding others who love that too, and that’s how to find your tribe, your community.

Partly due the brevity of our Zoom session, Joey and I had a slight lapse of understanding. (I don’t think either of us was at fault.) I wrote him in response to the article that I do care what other people think about my art. I especially love it when people look carefully at my art and talk to me about it. I care. I just don’t want high standards, aspirations, or the artifice of the art “market” to thwart my creativity. The riches of art (or of finding whatever else you love to do) are fulfillment, care of the soul, and locating friends and community. These vital life elements are out there for us all. I hope you find them, if you haven’t already.

Emily Kretschmer,

St. Peter, Minnesota

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.