I believe it is our mission and calling as artists to bring more beauty into the world. Art in all its forms, and in everything we do. Creativity isn’t limited to only the tangible, physical forms of art, it also runs through everything in our lives. How we interact with the world is an art form, and that is the best way any of us can bring beauty into the world on a daily basis.
Taking over the historic, art gallery space that was previously the Henle Gallery has birthed a new beginning and new journey for me as I continue my own artistic endeavors, and support other artists in theirs. It's been a whole year since I moved from my quaint King Street studio, into this beautiful upstairs gallery on Company Street, Christiansted. Besides my jewelry, Henle Fine Art is for sale in the gallery and a growing presence from other local artists.
"St. Croix Summer" Giclee on Canvas, Maria Henle
It is in the darkest and most trying times that art, beauty and creativity are needed more than ever. Many other artists have shared similar intentions in their words and their work. Thich That Hanh put it so beautifully in these words:
"By living your life, by producing works of art, you contribute to the work of the collective awakening of our people. A bodhisattva is someone who is awake, mindful, and motivated by a desire to help others to wake up. The artist, the actor, the filmmaker, the novelist may be inspired by a desire to become a bodhisattva, helping with the awakening of the people, helping them to touch the seed of joy, of peace, of happiness in themselves, helping them to remove and transform the seeds of discrimination and fear and craving. The artist can do all this. If you are motivated by that desire, you will have so much joy and energy that fame and power will not appeal to you anymore. Nothing can be compared with that kind of joy, knowing that your life on Earth is beautiful and is helpful.
"A work of art can help people understand the nature of their suffering and have insight into how to transform the negative and to develop the positive in themselves. Writing, making a film, creating a work of art can be an act of love. That act of love nourishes you and nourishes others. If you're happy, if you know how to live deeply every moment of your life, then deep understanding, joy, and compassion can come. Your art will reflect this understanding and will share it with others.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
"Frida in Her Studio" Estate Edition Photograph, Fritz Henle
What is it that makes you feel alive? Can you recall a time in your life when you felt that everything was right in the world and nothing was out of place? If you are lucky, you’ve experienced many of these moments. Moments of peace and joy, and that feeling of deeply experiencing the true beauty of life.
One of my personal goals in life is to have more of those miraculous moments. They can be found not just in creating tangible art, but in the creating of life, family, friendships and connection with other people. Sometimes we forget just how powerful we all are.
If you are a mother, you have created one of the most amazing works of art to be expressed on this planet - another human being. Creating a family, a home, a life is an incredible offering that is often overlooked as art, but it is truly the essence of creation.
Children do not worry if their early art work is “good”, they draw, create, express and experience with full presence and raw, unfiltered emotion. Children are able to access the joy of being truly alive that many of us forget as we grow older. The magic in a child’s mind is part of the purest expression of creativity. What we need is not to learn how to create, but to remember.
"From Above" Photograph, Tina Henle
As an artist, there is an intense desire, and need to create that comes from deep within. Art that needs to be brought to life, deep emotion and feeling that needs to be expressed in a way that goes far beyond the limitation of language and words. It’s this deep desire that fuels us as artists, keeps us inspired to continue creating and to continue to bring beauty and a deeper experience of life, to a life where so many have forgotten their own creative essence. It is truly our contribution to the collective awakening of our people.