Huffington Post: Art and Culture Resolutions for 2015

We've all made 'em, and we've all broken them. Those New Year's resolutions that nag us just as we're cheating with those gummy bears. Oh the guilt!

Well, how about making a few of those resolutions that don't require your food, sweets or wine intake to be compromised? Zero guilt factor here.

This New Year's resolution proposal is strictly art and culture related, and some of them you can knock off from your own home! (Others might require you to get in your car, and do a bit of legwork).

But for the most part, these are things that will make you feel better about yourself and your surroundings in an 'art loving' way.

Here we go! (Take note: these can be spread out throughout all of 2015. No pressure).

1. Show some love to Canadian artists. Take this year to explore our national creative talent. Whether it's supporting a local artist by purchasing a work or attending an art opening, show them that you care and just show up!

You can even subscribe to a Canadian art publication like Canadian Art magazine. Just looking at it grace your coffee table will make you feel like you've done your part.

2. Try a new art event and do not be intimidated! Stand your ground, and look confident. There are so many art openings, lectures and film screenings that take place every day of the week. Make it a cultural night out and learn something new!

(Our pick: The Art Gallery of Ontario's First Thursdays or 401 Richmond's Last Wednesdays).

3. Make it a habit of checking out at least 3 new art galleries online per week. Do a search of 'Contemporary art in China', or 'Saatchi gallery's emerging talent' and see what you find. It can be your mission to educate yourself with what's going on in the art world. Read up on exhibitions and reviews. It's as cultural as reading a book!

4. Visit an artist's retrospective. Whether attending a retrospective exhibition, or reading an artist (auto) biography, in-depth knowledge on a particular artist is an enriching endeavour. Not to mention, you'll sound super cultured at your next dinner party.

(Our pick: Patti Smith's Just Kids or check out the Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective, the first major one in Canada, at the AGO opening February 7th).

5. Introduce your children in your life to fine art by taking them to an art gallery. Most major art institutions have incredible children's areas and artistic programs that cater to children of any age. This can be an entertaining, educational and inspiring way to spend an afternoon.

6. Sell that piece you no longer love, or better yet donate it! Just because you have grown tired of a work of art, doesn't mean it won't find a happy home elsewhere.

Don't be stuck in the rut of looking at that oil painting you inherited from Aunt Edna. Forget the guilt or complacency. You only live once; it's a new year, so take it down!

7. Treat yourself to a piece by an artist you've always coveted. What better way to start the New Year than with a new wonderful piece of art? A new piece of art, no matter the medium, will transform and animate any space, and liven up your day.

8. Shake up your walls by switching just two pieces of art in your home. This is a bit of an experiment, but give it a go and see what you think. A new room or new wall could make all the difference. A change of context is almost as good as having a new piece of art! (Don't worry about those holes in the wall... live a little).

9. 'Get out of your art box'. Do you always gravitate towards landscapes? Figurative works? The colour green perhaps? While we say never to fight what you like, it's always good to challenge yourself by taking an extra look at that abstract you never thought you understood.

You may find a new appreciation for it!

10. Tap into your creative side: refine an old skill or learn a new one. There are so many venues for beginners and established creatives alike to develop a new (or old) artistic project or skill. No you don't have to be artistic to do one -- it's fun and can open up a whole new you (that you never knew was there!).

Take up knitting, a pottery class or life drawing course. Get those hands dirty and you'll feel great when you see the finished product. A very satisfying way to pass those dreary winter days.

If you pledge to do even half of these 'art resolutions' then you're in good stead. Good luck in your cultural endeavours for 2015. We're rooting for you! (No pressure).