• 46°

Art can sustain many

We don’t have to live in New York City or Los Angeles to experience the pressures of urban living.

There’s keeping up with a career, raising a family, caring for loved ones who are sick and protecting our children and our homes from rampant crime.

Many turn to their faith for courage. They look to a belief in a higher power, no matter how that is defined.

However, there is something else that can sustain people that this area abounds in. It’s the arts, whether performing or visual.

We have two superb galleries at Ohio University Southern — one in Ironton and the other at Proctorville — where shows are brought in that challenge and stimulate the intellect.

Each month there are new exhibits at the Briggs Lawrence County Library that showcase local talent.

Ironton High School’s Varsity Singers often give up a Sunday to perform at churches showing a sense of outreach for the arts.

Some of the most celebrated folk artists in Appalachian didn’t strive to become acclaimed artists. They were looking for a way to get through hard times. The mines had closed. They were victims of serious illness or tragic accidents.

To cope, they opened up a child’s paint box, got a brush and created. Or grabbed a tree limb and a knife and sculpted. Today those works fetch high prices in galleries across the country.

But that is not why they did it. They just wanted to survive until times got better.

They understood the power of art. Shouldn’t we?