How Does Art Connect Us?

ART CONNECTS ME to the whole wide world. It’s in the details of everything I see, be it a painting in a gallery window, a pair of earrings on a friend, a stranger’s chic shoes, a shadow cast, a colorful guitar on Congress, a paint-worn doorway, a well-designed typeface, a fine contemporary building arising above a 1950s neon sign, or the color in the sky–the art of it all connects me to everything my eyes can take in. So all of this becomes part of my world, and I’m part of it all, and more inspired and energized because of the connection.

Tree of Gold by Jann Alexander © 2013

Tree of Gold, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico oil on canvas by Jann Alexander © 2013


Art connects us all, though we may not think much about it. Most certainly, it connects the artist to audience. In my work, a visitor to my studio recognizes a landscape in New Mexico that I’ve painted, or an Austin landmark I’ve photographed, and responds with questions that lead us into conversation over shared experiences there. I’m enriched by the information that the  visitor shares. The art becomes more meaningful to us both because we’ve made a connection with one another.

Appreciating art is often described as an enriching experience.  As Fine Art Views founder Clint Watson notes, “Sharing your art enriches my life. But, more importantly. . . Sharing your art enriches your life.” The art we make becomes richer to us by the act of making connections over it.

Texas Proud Since 1964 by Jann Alexander © 2013

Texas Proud Since 1964 by Jann Alexander © 2013


Art is made for many purposes, and experiencing art is very individual. But whether its purpose is to share beauty or enlighten with ideas or to make a statement or to capture a moment or place or person, art always serves to connect the artist with its viewers. A connection made over art is not easily lost or forgotten.

Art can connect strangers with similar passions. Fans of my Vanishing Austin photography series often get in touch to sound the alarm when another iconic Austin landmark faces the wrecking ball. Everyone recognizes the desire to make a place immortal when immortality can never be achieved. Art can serve that purpose for some: a photograph of a lost place offers some solace to its mourners.

Mocha Madness by Jann Alexander © 2014

Mocha Madness by Jann Alexander © 2014


Finding art in unexpected places connects strangers as well. My Madness for Mocha connected me to Ryan at Thunderbird Coffee, a barista who put his all into his mocha art, inspiring me to admire and photograph my coffee before drinking it. His artistic creation was fleeting, and was made with that knowledge, yet my photograph made the connection long lasting.

Art buyers often make their purchases based on these shared connections. We all prefer to associate positive memories with the art we collect. We’d like our art to have a story behind it, one we can share with guests to our homes, one we can nurture over the years that we live with the art. As humans, we’re already hard-wired to seek out connections, and naturally, we’re attracted to art that offers us connections. Whether we recognize that impulse or not, we find that art connects us. 

Connect with me here at my fine art website.

Jann Alexander's A Habit of Hiding_Book Cover

You can get a sneak peek of my upcoming novel: 

Read an excerpt from A Habit of Hiding here

For more on the art of writing, look HERE.


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