Page 9 - Spring Book 2020: Finding Peace in a Restless World
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  ...Human beings are able to find meaning to their existence firstly by doing something, by acting, by creating – by bring- ing a work into being; secondly, by experiencing something – nature, art – or loving people; and thirdly, human beings are able to find meaning...when they take a stance toward the unalterable, fated, inevitable, and unavoidable limitation of their possibilities.... – Viktor E. Frankl 1
turn. Instead, we realize that art and its creation is an answer to these sorrows and a balm.
As we worked on this book, we also thought of Viktor E. Frankl. After surviving the Holocaust and losing multi- ple family members to the death camps, Frankl wrote numerous books, including Man’s Search for Meaning and Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything. We turned to the need and value in sharing beauty, which echoes and ex- presses Frankel’s psychology of affirmation- In Spite of Everything- YES!!
In the course of life, human beings must be prepared to change the direction of this fulfillment of meaning, often abruptly, ac- cording to the particular "challenges of the hour."
We must go on in the face of tragedy. We see affirma- tions of life in people around the world, dancing, sing- ing, healing, and giving us hope. Even as we all know that creativity does not solve the problems or right the listing ship of humanity, we go on because creation can strive to answer those problems. It answers them by ex- claiming – I am here, and the time is now! It is all we have. Now is everything! The most optimistic of us is as affected as one who sees what is most dire at every turn. The ultimate manifestation of this effect is the art we create! Art is our sanctuary; it is our meditation, our language. Through it, we channel our inner concerns and express our dreams and fears. We strive to be a light in the darkness and bring the community together in times of joy and deep sorrow. This is the magic of art!
Our personal call is answered by creating this book as it is an affirmation of what we love and all that we do! We find peace in this beautiful restless world by giving, sharing, and supporting art, community, and each other.
Thank you to the artists in this book for a lifetime of community and sharing. What began with loss becomes a healing. What started as the Spring Exhibition be- comes a new beginning–something even more durable.
A book.
Geir & Kate Jordahl
1.Frankl, Viktor E., et al. Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything. Boston, Beacon Press, 2020, p. 59.
2. Henri, Robert, and Margery Ryerson. The Art Spirit: Notes, Articles, Frag- ments of Letters and Talks to Students, Bearing on the Concept and Tech- nique of Picture Making, the Study of Art Generally, and on Appreciation. New York, Basic Books, 2007, p. 175.
3. Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Complete Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Containing All of His Inspiring Essays, Lectures, Poems, Addresses, Studies, Biographical Sketches and Miscellaneous Works. Wm. H. Wise & Co., 1929, p.232.
4. Frankl, Viktor E., ibid, page 59.
We conceived of the Spring Book to honor the three decades legacy of the PhotoCentral Spring Exhibition. Each year over 50 artists
shared their creations, made an exhibition and gathered to celebrate creativity and community. This was a lively event that had become a San Francisco Bay institution with hundreds of public attendees. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit our community and public assemblies be- came dangerous to our health and survival, the Spring Exhibition was abruptly cancelled by the shelter-in- place order. In response we felt the need to keep cre- ativity alive believing that some good can blossom out of sorrow and limitations. We create this Spring Book to both continue our community in a new way by creating a lasting legacy – a book – to honor our art spirits.
– Victor E. Frankl 4
Great works of art should look as though they were made in joy. Real joy is a tremendous activity, dull drudgery is noth- ing to it. The drudgery that kills is not half the work that joy is." – Robert Henri 2
How do we make in the face of what will, as we write this, become 100,000 dead? How do we honor community when we all know some who have died or are in harm’s way? We would say we must create precisely because of those who have died and to honor those who risk to keep us healthy and nourished. We must because our inspiration to go on is held in the pages of this book. In every portrait and landscape, in images made by ar- duous traditional methods or the latest technology, by those who call themselves artists and those who don’t, in images of comfort, wonder or protest, we keep the art spirit alive to make the challenges of now palatable and navigable. We find our way through the gentle step- by-step of life and, for those in this book, the creation of small moments of artistry. This is the thread that helps us heal and will contribute to the world and life beyond the current crisis.
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not. – Ralph Waldo Emerson 3
Emerson’s words are true even in the darkest of times and situations. Many of us have traveled to discover beauty, and now we cannot, but still, we find beauty. This is true whether we travel in the world or in our minds remembering that sharing art that affirms life does not ignore that we are in dark times with illness, disruption, inequities, and death seemingly at every
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