Friday, March 4, 2011

ART--vs--ARTIST--vs--ART........Blah, Blah, Blah........

The endless which no one wins....

One of the things I have always wondered about is why there are sooooo many fights in the arts community. Generally, they revolve around what *is* or *isn't* art, who *is* or *isn't* an artist, on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseaum. Sometimes, there seems to be so much energy expended on the fighting about art that I wonder what gets it started in the first place. Is it insecurity? Is it the fact that there is a certain amount of dollars to be spent on art and everyone is fighting for the limelight? Is it from people who feel unrecognized? Is it from gallery owners who felt they need the fuss to sell?
Over all, I find it a self-strangling circle. This has to have been going on since art began; somehow I get these visions of cavemen whacking the daylights out of each other with rocks for *prime-cave-wall-space* and others critiquing their drawings there-on. I mean, you know something like this happened, unless cavemen were more civil than the current art community...  ;-)
(maybe so....oooooo.....ouch!)
While this was all going through my head on and off a few weeks ago, I was reading an article about a University that had expanded their gallery and truly, they had a broad representation of art (in all forms) in their collection. I ripped the pages from the magazine and quickly retreated to the studio.
I kept seeing the printed word *art* over and over through the article and began cutting out the tiny words, until I had enough for what I wanted to do.
And then the phrase popped out at me from the text: various forms of artwork.
That was a saver.
I wasn't in the humor for big art, so I grabbed some ATC stock, inks, etc and began tinkering. Just something small to play with this perpetual idea that any one person or style holds the TRUE meaning of ART or ARTIST.

That we might have wings to fly from repetitive controversy on art, which is a HEALER above all else....

During the work, when I was waiting for elements to dry, I grabbed an old dictionary and looked up *artist* just for the heck of it.
See below.

This covers a LOT of is not confined to something shoved safely in a little box....

The second definition brought even more meaning, depending on how one takes it.
"Thou art" means "You are."
YOU ARE. (did the archaic definition have much more meaning and substance than the modern?)
And that says more than all the bickering and yapping and sideways remarks.
That this WORD that causes vocal wars has two meanings that are the same for an artist; WE ARE.
And one other thought; art is not the chattel of the rich, nor highly educated, nor the social snob~~art is the voice of ALL.
Don't be intimidated.
Go make art!!!



Emma said...

Oh, thou art....artist, I LOVE that!Yea, I agree, tho I don't come across much pontificating - if there aren't many pictures, i get distracted & click off in a new direction.

Love your little tin, the texture, glancing over the skull (enjoying the contrast) & landing peacefully on the butterfly, lovely.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Emma,

Yep, I'm more *visually inclined* too, but this had been nagging at me for quite a while, and then when I found that dictionary
Odd the things you find when you don't look hard for them!
Thanks on the assemblage~~I had debated the butterfly and looked and looked for just the right *one*, *size*, *color*...etc....took a lot of time on that one element of the work!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Every community I've ever been in has been plagued by this kind of in-fighting and petty turf wars. I think it's just human nature, no matter what the particulars concern. I agree, it's very tiresome.

Janet Ghio said...

Love your post Ann! when I was making art quilts, I got so sick of the debate about whether they were art or not and people who just couldn't figure out that it wasn't grandmas quilt!!

Cathy Bueti said...

Great post Anne!! It is very distracting to say the least and prevents what is really important . . . to make art! I so agree with you about art being a healer above all! That is what it has been for me. Good for you for putting this out there! Can't we all just get along? lol

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Debra,

You know, it has been the same for me and I think it is one of the reasons artists tend to *drop off the map* and go do their own work, when a lively arts community could be so beneficial.
Currently where I live it seems that DANCE, THEATER, and--shoot--there was one other thing being promoted. That was their limitations on *ART*.
Hmmmmmmm....what about THE ARTIST producing visual art?
I have no answers, obviously!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Janet,

Omgosh....I went through that same thing with art quilts. And the funny part/worst part is I would be standing a bit away from one of my pieces at a show and hear the *old school* quilters just ripping it to shreds! Sometimes it was funny, sometimes I would just walk up and stare at them until they *got it*---then the blank faces and quick walk off. LOL!
Never have figured the controversy with it.....


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Cathy,

I find the people that yell the loudest are always either:
A--trying to get attention


B--have large areas of art they don't understand or don't like


C--(the worst) want to take the joy out of artistic discover for others

I think art as a healing tool is by FAR more important than *highbrow* art. In previous cultures and generations, it was more accessible to people....which makes me wonder, truly, if cavemen weren't the more civil!
I support putting art forward and letting everyone enjoy it. If someone doesn't like a style, move on to one you do like.
Narrow minds are the death of all the possibilities in a wonderful medium....


Georgina said...

Oh Lordy, Annie, you hit the nail on the head and speaking of "head" when I was still an undergrad student some years back, we were constantly barraged with that kind of rhetoric!! I majored in "ART" with a "DISCIPLINE" in ceramics. Being a child of the '60's and quite active in the 70's during the ceramic movement, I wanted to create wonderfully great vessels, but the way I looked at it, if ya couldn't use it, lose it!! I figured if I was going to work that hard and expend all that energy and money (ceramics is not a cheap artform) I damn well wanted to use it!!

My prof was very supportive my first semester, but then he started putting more emphasis on "sculpture," than vessel making. Well, I didn't want to create "yard art" and I was very vocal about it. I could create something functional and yet sculptural at the same time, but noooo, he wanted "art", not "craft!!!!"

So that became a huge bone of contention between us...he would "punish" me by giving me B's for my semester work because he told me I was to precise and my work looked "intentional!" Ya think, Einstien!! Well, you should have seen the dreck that came out of that department and still does...saw the student work at an art show in Nov....YUCK-0!!

So when I get back into ceramics, I will continue making my functional vessels, just as whacky and fun or more so, even though my work is "intentional!!" LOL He is still so hung up on the "craft" thing! Your Funk & Wagnall definition sort of filled in the blanks as to what art is and can be. Am going to send you something concerning art and'll love it...just have to look for it now.

Loves ya,

Jan said...

another thought provoking post, Anne. This reminds me of my nephews post on creativity. I might make my own post about that. For now, I will just head down to my studio and make something. Not sure if it will be art or not.......

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Georgina,

I have heard so many horror tales from friends who majored in art that I *finally* am glad I did not go for a degree in it. The stories are all the same as yours, and I wonder if the profs get frustrated by not being working artists and are determined to see what THEY would produce, made by their students, living vicariously through them.
I know the cost of is big $$$ to lay out, and my view is make what you want...but then, I am such a nonconformist anyway. ;-D
Art is more than what one person says...and I think that's what gets people so MAD.


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Jan,

Your nephew's post on creativity was absolutely wonderful. I think it summed up the process and benefit of it much better than I can write.
I know from DOING that the act of creating whatever always zones me out and makes me feel better.
So I ask, what is so bad about THAT??? *sigh*


Gloria said...

Well, this was a great post Anne. Gives me more to think about. hehehehe.

A is for the artisitic person you are.
R is for the rapture of your work.
T is for the temptation to steal/copy your work.
I is for the interest you show and what you do.
S is for the Scythe in you.
T is for the total transformation of objects that live on because of you.

Did I do that???Tee Hee

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Oh Gloria!!!

You outdid yourself on that one! LOL!!!
I am never going to live down the Scythe Woman episode....I may have to bring the character out of mothballs this summer, just to give everyone a laugh! (too bad I can't make it into a Super Hero outfit, but I am past the spandex tights stage of life.....oh yeah...heehee!!!)


Sympathy for The Devil said...

hello QPA.

Sympathy for The Devil said...

have a nice weekend!

Sympathy for The Devil said...

i like this ART--vs--ARTIST--vs--ART BlahBlahBlah :D

Sympathy for The Devil said...

bye QPA.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Mita,

Trust me, in person, it would have wildly flailing hands and be laced with *descriptive* words not suitable for the blog...LOL!!! :-D
So I'll just leave all be.
The Queen plops into her royal throne and doffs her crown. Been a long day.

Anne (QPA)

Bella Sinclair said...

I agree with you. There are all kinds of different art, and not every art is everyone's cup of tea. Thank goodness for that. Otherwise, we'd all be forcing ourselves to make something that does not speak to our individual souls.

Have a great weekend!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Living where I do Bella, there is *one* type of art, for the most part, that is accepted. And I, having lived all over the States and Italy and Germany, find it claustrophobic and so narrow minded.
Our arts funding here is being cut severely, yet there are many studies that prove the health benefits of any type of art for people.
On the upside, I will be speaking to a Confirmation Class about Spirituality in my work, Art.
And that is truly uplifting!
For all us individual souls!;-D


audrey said...

Amen and well said, Anne.
Fortunately, here in the Roanoke Valley, there is acceptance of all types of art. I have found there to be a large following of "outsider art" and such. Of course there will always be those who believe the old school "still lifes" and "landscapes" are the only true art form. They do not rebel here nor hinder the progression of art in all forms. We have MANY small galleries here and each gallery I have visited since I've moved here has been an outstanding experience for me. The gallery owners were accepting of me, talked with me for hours, invited me to return for receptions and more talk - even the possibility of showing my work.
Of course not all cities are this accepting of all types of art. I am happy and blessed to live in an art community that is open minded and to be part of a blog community that is open minded and accepting of all artists who make art because it is their passion and it is made from their heart.
Cheers to all types of art and the artists who create it!!
♥ audrey

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Audrey, you are truly lucky to be in an area where there is a real sense of ALL ART. I love outsider art, though there is some I care for more than others~~it is visceral and real. I find the people who create it interesting.
Having so many types of galleries helps to bring in an abundance of art as opposed to trying to send everything through a small sieve and make sure only certain types sift through.
Maybe I need to move to Virginia....I mean, I *DO* have people there!!! (and I am sure they would be utterly horrified if I showed up on their doorstep....ah-hahahahaha!)


Amalia K said...

*standing on my feet, clapping hard, really hard, too hard and now starting to hurt!*

Bravo, Anne! This is such an enlightening post! I couldn't agree with you more. People are too insecure sometimes that they start picking on the next person they could find. I mean, can't people just chill and focus on what really matters? If you're here to create then by the love of God, stick to it and be happy. If competition's what you're looking for, then let it happen naturally...or go to a horse track and knock yourself out!!

Most of all, I think a lot of people fuss too much about defining and categorizing art. Such a waste of time, don't you think? (^_____^) Love ya, Anne! oxx

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Amalia, I think you have put it better than I could; just do what you have the talent to do, and let others do the same.
And yes, when you want to compete, there is always a venue for that (and some of it IS like a horse race, with someone smacking some poor animal with a riding crop....$$$'s, critiques, etc...) and put on your big girl panties when ya step in THAT ring!
Art is just the soul made visible, the thoughts put to paper, the hurts healed through making marks.
At the end of the day, who am I to do anything other than encourage or share what I've learned....

But you have to admit, the caveman comparison...that was rich! LOL!
"ARTIST OF THE *BIG CAVE*: OG, and his Charcoal Magic!"
LOL!!! WHAP! THUD! Now OG's being served for dinner.....


freebird said...

But doesn't everyone like to tidy everything up by putting it in a box of some sort? We need to know which box we are in and which is the right box don't we? No? I think a lot of people do think that way and they are the ones concerned with defining who is in or out of the artist box. It doesn't change what someone makes or doesn't make; I just don't know why it has to be a big deal. It's like OMG, that woman used the wrong fork to eat her salad! Idiotic is what it is. Let's find how much we can include instead of what to exclude.

studio lolo said...

Anne, I love this post!!!!!!!

I always feel inferior because I'm primarily self-taught, but now I do love the fact that no one has influence over me at this point in my life. Still, I used to cower in the corner at art openings thinking I didn't belong.
Well, tonight I went to my first art opening here and there were BIG players. You know what? I felt like I had the right to stand right there with them...for once.
yep, art critiques are too hyped up for me. I say create from your heart and you can't go wrong. When the dollar dictates what you might create then I think art suffers. But when your heart is in it, people feel it and want it.

Off to pour a glass of pinot grigio and return phone calls..but this is one post I needed to read before bed! And I LOVE that atc!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

LOL!!! Freebird, heaven FORBID we use the wrong FORK, or step out of a BOX someone else has put us in...heeheehee!
That is what is so sad/funny~~that people think they can keep us in the boxes, and that the dialog still continues.
I suppose it is a control issue at heart....
I think I'll just eat with my fingers and annoy everyone equally! :-D


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Lolo!!!

CONGRATS on the opening!!! And for standing up to the *big names* and knowing your work is EQUAL!
Wow---did not know you were having an opening but glad the post was up when it was!
I have felt the same way from being a self taught artist, but not anymore. It's an even playing field....
Hope you toasted with a glass for me too! ;-)


Lorraine said...

what a refreshing post this is..I agree there is a lot of snobbery in art even down to the type of paints is a personal form of expression and if you dont like it just move on..mind you some people make an art form out of Like your vibrant art piece and thanks for your lovely comments on my bird paintings..have a good weekend

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Lorraine,

Yeah, I know those that have mastered the great bicker!!! LOL!!!
I just think there is SO MUCH GOOD that art can do for anyone/everyone, I don't get it. But then, I guess I'm having too much fun with the *stuff*!
And yes, your birds are lovely!


Gayle Pritchard said...

A wise artist friend once said to me, when I asked her a similar questions about the fighting in our artist's group: Artists are extremely sensitive people. Because of this, feelings are easily hurt.
It makes perfect sense to me, and I wondered why I hadn't thought of it before.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Gayle,

That part I understand--it's just some of the other fol-de-rol that still goes right past me.
It has always struck me (FWIW) that there are artists who love and promote art, and then artists or fringe art people who love to blast it.
But maybe what you were told sums that up too.
Thanks for adding to the dialog!!!


dosfishes said...

Great post Anne, art is to me the way spirit moves through you. Doesn't matter what you make only that your soul finds a way to make it, whatever that is, painting, collage, sculpture, music, the most glorious cake ever, it IS what we are as humans. xox Corrine

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Absolutely Corrine.

That is a beautiful way of describing a beautiful process.
And it differs for everyone, which makes life SO MUCH more interesting!


Magpie's Mumblings said...

There is a saying...'Art is in the eye of the beholder' and I believe it. Thank goodness we don't all see 'art' as the same or we'd be terribly bored! I quit our local quilt guild because out of over 200 members only a very minute number had any interest at all in anything besides the old 'matchy-poo' patterns. Crazy quilting was viewed with tremendous suspicion and anything mixed media was a complete inkblot on the good name of quilting. Bah!!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey M.A.~~I hear you on that. While there was talent locally (and really good talent in the quilt guild that I could see moving forward) it kind of got to the point of everything same old....predictable patterns, etc.
Which is sad, because until you (me or whoever) move OUT of that box, you have no idea what you can achieve.
You sooooo make me laugh---I know exactly what you mean!!! :-D


*Ulrike* said...

Love that! I'm hoping to go to a watercolor class this week if my old aching bones have healed from this weekend.

Post a Comment

Talk to me Dahling!
I'm waiting, breathless...... ;-D