A Fresh Perspective

Signs on Market street
Recognize these?  You may have taken note of them on your way to Central Market one busy morning.  All year, these four signs have faced my desk, intending to remind visitors and myself of the wonder of the arts.  I must admit, their magic was mostly lost on me.  Sometimes knowing things “like the back of your hand” only serves to bore with familiarity.


At the end of our season, we removed the outside posters which detailed our events and replaced them with the four signs which previously faced my desk.  I thought it was a little cheesy, to be honest, an experience akin to when you have a new friend from school over for dinner and your mom microwaves that awful casserole from three nights ago (*not based on actual events).  I thought that people would carelessly pass by the windows as I had, failing to engage with or appreciate what happens in this great place.


I was wrong.  I remember sitting at my desk, looking out the front window as the first passerby stopped to notice the signs.  I braced myself.  He lingered.  And then—he pulled out his phone.  He took a selfie with our sign!  I texted our Executive Director: “Now someone is getting a picture of themselves with the sign…they’re a hit!  Who knew?!”  “I knew,” he confidently replied.  “You always knew, Sensei.”


This was the first of many selfies with the signs, and as each new person stops to snap a picture, I appreciate the signs and their meaning a little bit more.  I love seeing little girls pose by the dance quote and middle-aged men excited about Alan Rickman (more on that to come…).  I often wonder what significance those words might hold for them.  For a brief moment, their life intersects with the life of a composer, dancer, or actor; what is the impact?


Seeing the signs through the eyes of those who walk by have breathed new life into them for me.  They’re more than posters about art – they are art.  Something that causes otherwise busy people to pause and reflect – something that should’ve caused me to pause and reflect quite a while ago.  And now, with a better-late-than-never attitude, I’m going to.  Over the next four weeks, I’m going to take the time to understand and appreciate each of these signs.  I anticipate being enriched by the stories behind the quotes and hope that you will be too.


What about for you?  What do you see when you pass us on Market Street?