Pablo Picasso once said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Imagine how dull a life without art would be. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we all developed an even deeper appreciation for art, especially with so many museums and galleries being closed and so many performances and lectures canceled.
Although I didn’t grow up going to museums, I’ve certainly made up for it later in life, visiting museums and art galleries all over the world. I’ve traveled to more than 180 countries and I am in the midst of fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting every country on the planet. I only have a few more countries to go to before I reach my goal.
I think art makes the world a better place and certainly brings more meaning to everyday life. Picture your favorite painting and take a moment to appreciate how it makes you feel. Now, can you picture a world without Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” or Picasso’s “Guernica”? Art is magical.
However, the arts are sadly often forgotten or the first to be slashed from a budget when times get tough. But the reality is, when times are difficult, we need art the most. Art uplifts, inspires, and ignites the best in all of us. It can transform the mundane into a carnival of color and a kaleidoscope of hope and light.
Americans for the Arts states that, “There is no recovery without creativity.” There has never been a more crucial time to care about art.
I am passionate about photography and always travel with a camera in hand. My black-and-white photography collection that I’ve been curating for more than two decades is one of my most prized possessions.
Every photo in my Womankind collection is an image of some phase of womanhood. From the whimsical and quirky to the more serious works, Womankind is an ever-evolving masterpiece of the journey every woman takes. There is something so pure about black-and-white photography. You can better appreciate light and shadows in this type of photography, and textures and patterns. It can be simple but elegant and truly beautiful to the eye.
Supporting art, the artists behind these great works, and the performing arts have always been causes close to my heart. That is one of the reasons I decided to launch The Franci Neely Foundation.
Art was once an Olympic event that warranted medals. According to smithsonianmag.com, awards were given for sporting-inspired art pieces of architecture, literature, sculpture, painting, and music from 1912 to 1952. Did you know the “Mona Lisa” has its own mailbox in the Louvre because it receives so much fan mail? Art is powerful.
There are 24 hours in every day and while we have daily obligations, we tend to spend our time on what matters most to us. I always make time for art. There is nothing better than strolling through a gallery and seeing a new exhibit or seeing a painting unveiled for the first time. With all of the distractions of everyday life, art is what makes all of it worthwhile. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about supporting art is because I want to share it with future generations.
I have five grandchildren and eight godchildren and protecting the arts matters greatly to me. If you’re interested in giving back to the arts, start by visiting a community museum or art gallery. Follow artists who are sharing a message that resonates with you.
One of the best investments one can make is to pour love and support into the arts. Artists are creating from their hearts. They are sharing concepts and ideas from a fresh perspective. If you contribute to the arts, you never know who the next great artist will be. You could very well play an important role in supporting the art world’s next great discovery.