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Here’s Looking at You, Kid

In the final scene of the classic movie "Casablanca," Rick and Ilsa realize they will never see one another again and he utters the famous line, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” They know that they will have to rely on the memory of their time together, the love they shared.

What if you learned that you would never again see the most important person in your life? A lover? A parent or grandparent? A best friend?

Thankfully, our minds can remember images and sounds and moments. A whiff of a grandfather’s cigar can make us smile years after he’s passed. Hearing a tape recording of a friend’s voice who had moved away might remind us it’s time for a phone call. And art – Art can trigger a memory and connect us with a part of our lives that we thought was far beyond our reach.

I chose these artworks from Washington's State Art Collection because I was drawn in general to the artists' visions and more specifically to the eyes in the images. Eyes are telling, whether on canvas or in a sculpture. They are particularly “telling” when you’re talking with someone. Do they meet your glance or look away? Are their eyes tearful or twinkling with excitement? Do they show fear or ease?

So much can be learned by looking into eyes.

We live in a time where we are so fortunate to have museums and books and media literally at our fingertips; however, we are also fortunate to have time. Time to sit and contemplate and appreciate what the world of art means in our lives.

“Here’s looking at you, kid.”

–Curated by Rebecca Redshaw, ArtsWA Board Member, author and playwright, and Mount Vernon resident (December 2018).

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