You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one … who wishes they had a fraction of John Lennon’s talent; even just a percentage point of one.
However, most people aren’t as diversely talented as Lennon, which is why so many of the man’s fans usually jump at the chance to get the slightest glimpse of the artistic aura that burned within him.
And for all the unfair criticisms foisted upon her — give her a break already, they were in love — Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, has been determined to show his fans the not-so-celebrated talents of the working class hero’s legacy.
Mrs. Lennon continues her artistic journey in the name of her late husband, bringing “Come Together,” a new showcase of John Lennon’s artwork to St. Petersburg’s Baywalk this weekend.
For those wondering, “How could our favorite Beatle have been a bourgeois painter-type?” fear not.
Lennon, whose pre-Beatle days were spent as a student at Liverpool Art Institute, has a unique style of painting that reflects the unassumingly colorful music of The Beatles and the tender storytelling of a father.
“And his artwork is … not something that you have to appreciate while the critic is standing there and explaining it to you over your shoulder … it was the same with his music. You don’t need to be told what it means; you feel it,” Ono said in the show’s promotional interview booklet.
This particular exhibition features original lyric sheets, sketches and paintings such as the colorfully squiggled “Imagine” self-portrait (which has become almost as famous as Lennon’s actual mug), collaborative works of Lennon’s sketches and Ono’s painting and an innocently exuberant series created with his son, Sean.
These paintings exude innocent simplicity — one particular piece shows a fat orange cat sleeping on a large mattress, in front of a violet and baby blue sky, while dreaming of a juicy mouse — which is reaffirmed at the bottom of each drawing with an explanatory sentence (the aforementioned work has “a cat napping” scrolled at the bottom).
“I began to find John and Sean drawing together. John would draw something and explain to Sean what it was … And as a mother and a wife, these are some of my most precious memories,” Ono said.
This event isn’t just another reason to reinforce John Lennon as a master artist — or combat Sir Paul as Boss Beatle … OK, well, maybe just a bit — though.
The proceeds from this exhibition, a suggested $2-donation at the door, will all go to the Adopt-A-Classroom charity.
The non-profit charity, which provides teachers with a $500-budget to improve classroom facilities and overall educational quality, is the main benefactor of the event’s proceeds.
Ono is sponsoring teachers all over the country, wherever the showcase stops, and has sponsored two classrooms in the St. Pete area.
One of the teachers, music professor Kimberly Evans of Lealman Elementary, thinks that her kids benefit from the Adopt-A-Classroom funds outside of the music room.
“I’m extremely blessed and gracious that she’s taken the time to see that the arts are needed in public schools, and she avidly supports that,” Evans said. “It’s a tragedy that so many people feel that the arts aren’t needed. Music is an outlet for students that can help them become successful in all-around academics.”
Lennon is one of the most legendary artists ever, a hallmark that only augmented by his inspiring penchant for canvas art.
This showcase will be beneficial for the educational art programs for school children, give the world a deeper look into Lennon’s legacy and give attendees just a little bit more Beatle in their lives.
“Come Together: The Artwork of John Lennon” will be on display at St. Petersburg’s Baywalk from Friday to Sunday. A $2 donation is suggested.