Portland, Oregon — I am absolutely electrified by the artful beauty of China’s Olympic opening ceremonies. The spiritual nature of this age old culture which intertwines the oldest religions in the world with the beautiful, seductive romance of poetry, music, calligraphy, painting, dance and martial arts creeps down somewhere to my gut in a place I did not think China could reach. Modern technologies like LEDs and pyrotechnics pull me into a modern grip yet sends me back to a, perhaps, collective memory of my ancient roots or a sacred past. Through it all what punches through the color and the choreography is the people. Just people, powering it all. Creating it all, and some how pulling us into a place deep within our soul that reminds me of what connects us — art.
The tear, posed to drip down the corner and over my cheek is a simple wish for peace. In this moment of artful connectedness, I pray that a cleaver of evil will not split me from my overwhelming appreciation of this coming together.
Art and the athlete can transcend everything, at least for a moment.
Janelle Fendall Baglien, Studio Art Direct