What does it mean to have something hand-crafted and personal in your life that provides a benefit? My wife and I went on our anniversary a few years ago to the Umstead Hotel and Spa, in Cary, NC. This is a resort in a wooded setting adjacent to a pond, all of it groomed to give their guests the feeling of being in a lush oasis. And it does. (I later made paintings of the pond from photos taken there.) Yet the truth is, the resort is within an office park in Research Triangle. But that didn't stop the resort owners from maximizing their space, and providing a world class experience for art lovers.
The hotel is filled with original art, and is the kind of place I seek out. In the lobby is a Dale Chilhuly work, hanging from the ceiling in resplendent glory, and Lynn Boggess (a personal art hero) is amply represented with a work facing the elevator doors on every floor! Truly a feast for Boggess fans. There are original artists' works everywhere.
In the small gallery/gift shop my wife spotted a magnificent but modestly sized vase by Seagrove NC artist Phil Morgan that she adored. We bought it and to this day the vase reminds us of that trip, of that moment in our lives. Filled with fresh flowers we collect on our walks, the vase provides comfort and brings a smile every time I see it. This is the benefit of shared experience and a momento of a specific event in one's life.