Rain on the outside, color inside is an apt description of  a weekend that gathered 42 artists and samplings of their work for the annual Melrose Arts Festival.

In one Friday afternoon, Memorial Hall is transformed. From a big blank space emerges displays of blown glass in every color imaginable, collages that combine bone, photography, and fabric. Paintings, photographs, etchings, quilts, and earrings hang on the backs of each other. Juxtaposed in their variety, they stimulate cross panel chat and exchanges of business cards, ideas, and questions amongst artists.

Alyce Underhill and Ose Manheim

Artists Alyce Underhill and Ose Manheim

I am there helping my mother, of Manheim Photography, adjacent to artists Alyce Underhill and Nan Rumpf. Alyce, after hearing about my blog throws out “If an artist creates something in the forest without anyone’s knowledge, never seen or experienced, is it art?”

What is art?

When is art?

Does it necessarily need an audience, viewer, appreciator, eyes, or ears?

Is art the creation itself, the perception of it by viewer, the magic that happens on contact, or something else or all of the above?

Is it enough to create something that may never be experienced?

Does intent of creation matter?

Does contact with the piece matter?

What do you think?