The Art of Living (with Impermanence) | Adrian Tans | TEDxHartlandHill

The Art of Living (with Impermanence) | Adrian Tans | TEDxHartlandHill

The Influence of Art and Life Experiences

  • The speaker, known as the "Woodstock Town Smiler," discusses the influence of a chalkboard in Woodstock, Vermont, where upcoming events and news were handwritten.
  • They share their fondness for the 1990s television program "Northern Exposure" and how an episode about an artist flinging a piano from a catapult inspired their understanding of art as moments of awe.
  • They describe their experience creating snow sculptures, emphasizing the joy and futility of the process due to the sculptures' impermanent nature.

Encounter in Harvard Square and Life in Woodstock

  • The speaker recounts a chance encounter in Harvard Square, where they met their future wife, Lina, and their subsequent move to Woodstock, Vermont, where they opened an art gallery.
  • Lina was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and despite the challenges, she maintained her sense of humor and lived fully for the next nine years.

Creating Impermanent Art During the Pandemic

  • After Lina's passing in 2017, the speaker struggled to find inspiration for their art until the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
  • Inspired by essential workers and the need to contribute, the speaker began using the chalkboard in Woodstock to display hand-drawn messages from the community, providing a unique and uplifting experience during the pandemic.
  • People's reactions to the art varied from surprise and delight to alarm.

The Impact of Impermanent Art

  • The artist believes that the effort put into creating the art resonates with people and reminds them of their own accumulation of efforts.
  • Impermanent art can help people become comfortable with the fleeting nature of life and appreciate the simple joys.
  • The artist finds encouragement in the process of creating impermanent art and believes it can help people find the art of living in the present moment.

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