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Some ideas make so much sense, that when they come about, the first reaction is “why hasn’t this been done earlier?”

There are a couple of examples of that in Ellensburg.

At the top of the list is the installation of Dick Elliott’s artwork at Morgan Middle School. Elliott, along with John Clymer, may be one of the most notable artists to come out of Kittitas County. He’s probably best known for his large-scale public installation pieces scattered across the nation, but his work can be found in public and private collections far and wide.

Elliott was the definition of an artist in the way he lived his life, thought about and wrote about his work. To have one of his artistic creations greet people each day at the formative middle school age when they are open to and seeking inspiration and eager to explore ideas and creativity, just seems like a natural fit.

Similarly the cooperative effort between the Hotel Windrow and Gallery One to feature the work of area artists throughout the hotel is an extraordinary idea.

The Windrow is important not just because it is a new business investing in Ellensburg, but it fills a need in the historic downtown core. Historically downtown Ellensburg has had hotels, but its been a few decades. Having people stay in the downtown near stores, restaurants and bars is a significant plus.

In a way the hotel provides an opportunity to highlight Ellensburg, and how better to show people the beauty and diversity of our community than through the work of local artists.

Art is the way we tell our stories, both the internal struggles and our place within the larger culture. What’s notable is these are the stories that are passed down.

Art, in the encompassing definition of visual, audio and written, is what lasts from generation to generation. Art is what at the end of the day (and our lives) we preserve.

The beauty of art is it inspires regardless of whether you have “artistic talent.” Art is what tells us we have far, far more in common than we have differences because people from different walks of life can find inspiration in the same artwork.

Not everyone is inspired by or likes the same art. But luckily humans create a wide variety of art that speaks to that many facets of the human experience.

Quite simply, the greater our exposure to art in all its forms, the deeper our appreciation and the richer our experiences and the more likely we are to realize our potential.

Art in schools and hotels is not a new idea by any means, but using these forums to expand our knowledge and appreciation for the artists among us who are telling stories formed experiences in our community is worth noting and celebrating.

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