An Artist's Perspective: Art Enlightenment

May 22, 2019

In 1972, I was 13 years old. While art was on my mind, I had not yet come to grips with its full power.

Like a lot of people, my parents bought framed prints from furniture stores when they bought their new couch. My tastes tended toward the psychedelia of the day, largely driven by The Beatles and the anti-war movement. I had smoked marijuana for the first time that summer and laughably felt that it had "enlightened" me.

I found myself at the corner of Douglas and Hillside that year, outside of Pam Van Landingham's Frame Guild Art Gallery, which thankfully still exists today farther west on Douglas. Looking through the window, I saw color explosions and went in for a closer look.

Pam was showing real Peter Max psychedelic paintings in gold guild frames right here, in my hometown. My jaw dropped. My dad had just bought the latest Credence Clearwater album, so obviously he was now hip enough to come and buy the smallest Peter Max for $800 (equal to $4800 today), and then we could all be enlightened together as a family. I rushed home, pled my case, was handed $5, and told to go get a haircut.

But I had found a new religion that day, and it never left me. Today our house is full of original artwork. And our children grew up with it and they now collect art and take our grandkids to galleries and museums.

The Clontses are fully art-enlightened and — NOW — the beat goes on.

Tags: