Expressing gratitude for what’s good in life is a great way to beat the blues. Enjoy this PhxArt Virtual Visit with artworks from our collections and an upbeat playlist that celebrate the simple act of saying thanks, with a special nod to essential workers like farmers and foodservice employees, medical and military personnel, who sacrifice it all to keep us fed, healthy, and safe.
These artworks from our fashion design and American, Asian, and European art collections draw inspiration from those who guide, provide for, and protect us, today and always.
In 2014, Phoenix Art Museum presented Don Coen: The Migrant Series, featuring remarkable, large-scale portraits of migrant farmers from California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Texas, and Florida. These works by Colorado-based artist Don Coen highlight the unique personalities of each subject and acknowledge both their personhood and work ethic.
Observe: Does this artwork remind you of something you’ve seen before? What are three details you notice?
Discover: The statue above depicts Bishamonten, who, in both Hinduism and Buddhism, guards the Northern quadrant of the universe. In his past life, he was a rich Brahmin mill-owner who gave all of the produce from one of his mills to charity, thus providing alms for the needy for 20,000 years.
Contemplate: Who are the protectors and caregivers in your life? Which of their selfless acts of kindness do you find most inspiring? Share your thoughts with a friend or family member and ask what inspires joy and gratitude in them during this time.
Art Scrawl: Journaling and Writing Prompts for the Art Lover
This 1973 work on paper by Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga captures a brief moment of affection between mother and child. Moments like this with those we love may feel, over time, routine and ordinary, but often carry more weight when they become finite and fleeting.
During this time of coronavirus and social distancing, as we are confronted with the sheer numbers of those we have lost and as we think of those whose lives are at risk each day, what was once ordinary and everyday has evolved to become extraordinary and rare. As you study the image above, reflect on the small moments in your own life that you are most grateful for. Write your thoughts in a journal or on loose-leaf paper and try to capture as many sensory details as possible as you remember the minute but meaningful experiences that define your own time on this earth.
Enjoy these tunes that inspire us to express essential gratitude to those giving freely of themselves during this global pandemic.
Feeling extra grateful for the essential workers in your life? Shop online at The Museum Store for these and other items sure to bring some joy (and art!) to their everyday.
Give a loved one a Membership to Phoenix Art Museum so they can enjoy unlimited access to inspiring art once it’s safe to gather again. And don’t worry – their Membership will be adjusted to begin only when the Museum re-opens so they get a full 12 months of benefits.
From all of us at Phoenix Art Museum, thank you to our community’s essential workers, to our Museum Members and Circles of Support, and to everyone who continues to support the arts during these trying times. We couldn’t do it—any of it—without you.