Dengler Domain: Art

Sean Dengler.

In a world where everything goes as fast as possible, time should be taken to appreciate parts of life which are not meant to be commodified. This means art, specifically, is done as a passion whether it is painting, drawings, writing, or performing.

Some are lucky enough to create art which can make them money, but for most, this is not the case. When someone creates art in any form, they are expressing themselves to the world. This art is a gift to the world. It is unique, and nothing will ever be the same as it.

Unfortunately, as society has rolled on, companies try to commodify art in their projects. Do you want the cool new skins (aka uniforms) in Call of Duty or Fortnite? You can if you have some cash. Nothing is made to be only a gift.

Appreciating those who put art in the world is important. Whether expressing one’s thoughts through painting, stand-up comedy, writing, or other forms, the hardest part of each of these forms of art is opening oneself to society’s critiques. Some people might not like it, some may love it, but one never knows until a piece of art is in front of others. This can be a scary feeling which can stop others.

It is important for anyone, artist or not, to go out and appreciate the different art in the world. I would be lying if I did not understand certain pieces of art, specifically whatever is in front of the Wellness and Recreation Center on the University of Northern Iowa’s campus.

While I did not understand this specific piece of art, it has become more important to understand the importance of art’s place in the world. My taste in physical art is different from someone else just as someone’s taste in stand-up comedy is different from mine. The fact that this art exists is the key point. A few pieces of art will span a generation and fewer pieces will span the test of time.

It is crucial to note the existence of art. Thinking about most art pieces, typically art comes to mind first before the artist. This art will have a decent chance of impacting at least someone. That is the point. If this art impacts someone, it could lead them to create their art to impact someone else.

One reason I perform stand-up comedy is being inspired by seeing the performances of Mike Birbiglia or Jim Gaffigan. Breaking this down to a local level, I was inspired to perform in front of audiences when I was a child after watching a North Tama swing show sketch about a baby pool and a lifeguard with Mark Foster and Zach Walker. My memory is a little hazy on the details, but nonetheless, it is one of my first experiences with how live performance can be highly entertaining. As for why I write, I was inspired partially by my grandma, Ferne Pohlman, authoring stories about gatherings at her house for the Traer Star-Clipper, and I have also seen my mom’s creativity come out in poems and certainly scrapbooking.

All this is to say is one may or may not like a certain piece of art but do not judge. The artist is expressing themselves, and it could impact someone else’s life to also create art. More art is good for society, specifically art not made with the initial intent to be commodified. Appreciate the work and the guts which goes into making art because all art means something.

Sean Dengler is a writer, comedian, farmer, and host of the Pandaring Talk podcast who grew up on a farm between Traer and Dysart. You can reach him at sean.h.dengler@gmail.com.