In late November I had an idea. It came to me as an experiment and research project called “ART MATTERS, A Docu-Blog”, and here is a summary: PEG invited families to come forward as volunteers to our inquiry about does and how art matters in their lives, homes and to their families. We asked to be able to interview, home-visit and gallery-visit with each family, in order to record the ‘story’ of how and whether art matters in their lives. We then would invite each family to choose a piece of original art to have as a guest in their home. Returning the Guest Art would be the final round in this circular inquiry, and PEG would record and write about it all in our Docu-Blog.

In November, our First Family came forward! Over the past 8 weeks, we have had email interviews, a home visit, and are now preparing for the family to visit PEG together, at long last!

Meet Lauren L’Amour and her husband Paul Lamoureux. Yes, their names mean Love, and yes, it is no coincidence. She chose her name when she married Paul, and Paul was born that way. Lauren is a Life Coach extraordinaire. Her company, Life Vision, ( helps people develop desire, intention and accountability in their lives, and facilitates follow-through with a series of effective, encouraging, and spiritual approaches.

Paul is CEO of “Read to a Child”, (, based in Wellesley, MA. Read to a Child is a non-profit organization that runs on volunteers, whereby mentors are assigned a child to read with, once a week, throughout their elementary school years. His company helps children read, read better, and creates sustained and sustainable relationships between an adult and child over several years.

Both of the L’Amour/Lamoureux are in the field of relationships. Their openness is as obvious when we meet face-to-face as it is reflected in the warmth and friendliness in their home.

When I first began this idea, a friend asked me, “Are you truly open to the answers you will find to your question “Does Art Matter?”

What if you find out it doesn’t?!”

It was an excellent question, and one I’ve re-visited on numerous occasions. My gut feeling is that ART may indeed not have a prominent role in many of our lives, but we all respond to what we consider beautiful. Indeed, Beauty may be the broader umbrella under which art lives. A need, a desire, an intention, to live with beauty compels us to create environments wherever we wander or land. Certainly in my experience, my intellectual response to beauty creates similar response in my heart and my body.

Lauren wrote, in response to a PEG question: “I know when I experience art that I love, it moves me, lift my Spirit, and makes me happy. This is also true for the other members of my family.”

How can this not matter, a very great deal?

Here is an excerpt from the first ART MATTERS Blog #27, from late November 2015:

The intention to buy original art is generally not high on most people’s lists of desires. I know a lot of reasons why because I have those reasons myself sometimes, and they all tend to start with lack: lack of Money, Space, Motivation; lack of Awareness….

After meeting, interviewing and visiting with our First Family, the L’Amour/Lamoureux family, I have broadened my view of how indeed art matters in our lives. When Lauren L’Amour first wrote to me in response to Blog 27, I felt her excitement and nervousness. She called her family “art deprived” and asked to participate in this research piece. Of course, we jumped at the chance 

When Heidi (Newfell) and I arrived at Paul and Lauren’s home, we were all excited, and a conversation quickly began. As they suggested, they do not yet own lots of original art. But their home is so lovingly appointed and so mindfully decorated, that the absence of original work wasn’t apparent or important in the slightest.

Is it only original art that elevates us? Of course not.  

Lauren and Paul did not just “make do” in their new home. They took the pieces they had—an old framed poster from a former real estate career of Lauren’s, family photographs, small paintings and a large-screen TV—and made an environment of meaning and beauty to their whole family.

One of the pieces both Lauren and Paul love is a photograph by Lauren’s teenage son, Max. It has a place of honor on the fireplace in their family room, surrounded by objects of beauty and personal significance.

Most of us don’t consider our television sets art. But the Loves have turned their TV set into a revolving Image Gallery worthy of the finest art gallery. In the hour we spent in the Love’s home, this rotating gallery of imagery and sound filled the space with dreamy sunset images, bright sun-lit gardens and beautiful oceans, accompanied by the softest, most friendly and calming music. It turns out the L’Amour/Lamoureux family knows exactly how to make lemons from lemonade!

Whatever we put on our walls, graces our lives. It interacts with us on a daily basis. We see it—and know it—from every angle and view. That relationship extends back to the artist who created the piece. And on it goes; a trickle-effect of a most powerfully positive nature.

The pieces we choose to live with are as much a part of our family as the pets we love and care for. What we put on our walls is in relationship with us, and puts us in daily dialogue with itself.

When I left their home I was filled with hopeful happiness. Original art is a state of mind. It is a place inside of us that desires, requires and manifests beauty in order to enhance our everyday lives. Original art is a symbol of beauty, and while I certainly—and so do you—go out of my way to bring creativity into my life, beauty and creativity form the umbrella under which lies the desire for things that someone’s hands and heart have made.

Lauren writes: “My mother has a few friends who are artists so we always had their art hanging. For me, there is something very special about knowing the artist. I have immense appreciation for an artist’s ability to bring beauty to the world.

Dear Friends and Readers…..we are truly getting somewhere here!

We love you!
See you at PEG!

Paula Estey