A Richer Understanding: Listen to Your heART

I consider myself an avid reader, reading to learn – reading to smile. I own an e-Reader and have reading apps installed on all of my devices, however I enjoy reading hardcover and paperback books just as much. As such, I am a BIG fan of our local library system, PLCMC (Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.) Convenient to me are the Main Library and the West Boulevard branches, these are both less than a quarter of a mile from where I work and live. I am also connected and prideful that my mother in law is a retired librarian who played a huge role with opening the West Boulevard branch.

Last week I attended a growth thematic workshop for the Main Library. Planning for a new Main Library has been underway for several years, and has included broad community input. The creative vision for the new Main Library; the “public commons” has been the result of that input, and will inform design, programs, partnerships and more.

Phenomena Turn of the Tides – Paul Jenkins – Acrylic on Canvas

In one of the modules we were tasked with processing our feelings about a great experience, outside of the library, and communicating how it could be incorporated into the new design for the Main Library. There were three of us in my group, a retiree, an educator and myself. Earlier that morning I had run on the greenway. There was peace and silence. I was in solitude. My thoughts lead me around my own world and I drew from this experience. I have always been impressed with the local greenways and the parks and recreation system, often when I visit other cities I make it point to visit/ run on their trails. What the greenway system could transfer to the library is a dual/ multipurpose space that brings the outside inside. Another among the group likened his Disney Cruise and the advanced technology used on the ship to how the library could incorporate advance technology into its design.

Artifact from the National Museum of Saint Kitts – Showcasing the Culture and Heritage

Lastly, the idea I am most impressed with and the primary reason for this post comes from the retiree. He talked about his love for traveling, learning different cultures and his affinity for art. He makes a point to visit a museum wherever he travels.

Over the past few years I’ve started to pay more attention to art. Bank of America’s Museums on Us provides an opportunity to visit, for free, participating museums on the first full weekend of every month. Present your Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® credit or debit card and a picture ID for one free general admission. Currently there are more than 175 participating institutions.

Art has a way of drawing out an emotion / feeling split. You hear noise but it fades in the background while the music of silence continues its melody. There is no schedule and you have nowhere to arrive to. You pay attention to every twitch your body makes. You feel alive, not worried about a thing. No one bothers you, you hear your every thought. Nothing is a wrong thought or a wrong answer.

I revel in every minute.

It bought me to thinking about art as a collectible asset and investment. Combining something you love with something that could generate income. I honestly know nothing about this but have made it a point to do more research.

Besides the aesthetic return generated by art, what are your thoughts on investment products that invest in collectible assets such as fine art?

I remain,


Brian Tramuel is a regular contributor and helms the 'A Richer Understanding' series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.

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