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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why is art necessary or do you need to breathe?

I'm trying to write a new artist statement, which I hate doing, I am not a writer and I don't really know how to express what I do or why I do it in words. I just FEEL it. I have been reading some articles on why we create art and have found some interesting thoughts on the subject. Gerry shot this photo in Maine, finally shooting some art instead of news and sports. It was great to see him doing something for the love of creating an image, not for the job assignment. I'm pondering why I make what I do, it's an interesting question. I'm also sitting here procrastinating because it is HOT out there!
Meanwhile, here is one statement that I came across that I thought was very interesting and important reading:

I would like to address the wholesale elimination or drastic cutting back of art in schools. I have many years of experience teaching and in administration and this has become a crisis particularly in the state of Oregon where the economy has been far worse and there are more hungry people here than in other areas of the country. Art has been viewed as nonessential and has been cut drastically. The problem is this: some children and adults have talent in art only because they are primarily visual learners and are not gifted in other academic areas. We have told them to ignore visual information. If we eliminate those art programs, we are speaking to a large population of future citizens and telling them that they have no place to shine in our most important systems and that if they shine anyway in visual areas like art that are not covered, we will not value that effort because it is outside the system. That is the same as telling all of us that we should go through our days ignoring our senses, with endless days of extreme frustration, extreme difficulty and rare success doing things we do not enjoy, with no hope the situation will ever change. If art is eliminated, there is no appreciation of good art -- we have lowered the bar and allowed the acceptance of mediocrity in search of any visual stimulation at all. If art is not seen as necessary, it is not included. Under these circumstances, it can easily be ignored and whole segments of our population are excluded. Art was an integral part of living in caves before the advent of our more advanced civilized human society. Ask this: have we suddenly decided to quit our humanity?
--Zel Brook, artist, Corvallis, Oregon

12 comments:

Linda Starr said...

When I grew up I somehow got the feeling that art was for fun, but something else should be concentrated on for a career, if only it had been the other way around, can't go back to the past, but I this is a good point about art, visual learning and the beauty of it; that it is necessary, so very necessary,

Linda Fahey said...

Tracey - fabulous picture! on our recent trip we spend a lot of time on beaches staring at the ocean and rocks and driftwood! Perfect way to spend your time, I think! and thanks for that statement. I think Art has always fought this battle...and yet? People who want to do art always seem to find a way. I know some will not get the chance or support, but I believe "art" becomes more important in a recessive period, oddly.

schools are sucking at this in California too, big time!

great post. Good luck with the statement. I find that hard too.

cindy shake said...

Just got back and had to get caught up -I'm loving all of the sea themed pieces. They have a very cool (as in temp) and a real serenity about them.

I suppose I've never thought of art as an option as it was always just what I did and who I was. Since Daddy-O is a coach and teacher, our joke is that both of our professions and passions are "electives!"

cookingwithgas said...

LOVE the picture- hate artist statements most of them drive me to drink or at least roll my eyes.
Why can't the work do the talking... it has way more to say.

Dennis Allen said...

I have said my piece on artist statements before so I won't repeat. I have found that no matter that the left side of my brain was earning a living, I ALWAYS had to have a right brain activity to balance it out.Ignoring those needs will not develop happy, healthy individuals and I am saddened by the way we are headed.p.s. Tracey, you write very well. It doesn't really need to sound like a dissertation.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Linda S., thankfully my mom always encouraged me to look to art as a career, she loved art. Linda F. I found a very good site that walks you through the artist statement, I should get a post up about that too,
hey Cindy glad you are back, enjoyed the tour of lavendar! Meredith,definitely the work should do the talking,and yes these things can lead to heavy drinking! I get so sick of applications that ask for an artist statement! Dennis, I don't feel like I can write an artist statement all that well, probably because I don't enjoy it, but thanks.Yes, public education is so messed up, thank goodness for charter schools, or I would have been a home schooling mom!

Janice said...

Hi Tracey - being a middle school teacher it's hard to watch my students not "get it" when art related references are made. Last May one of my students asked what I was going to do during my summer vacation and when I answered "Go to Nelson-Atkins and see Monet's Water Lilies." Not only did my student not recognize the artist, she didn't even know such an amazing museum was less than an hour's drive from home.

What I really wanted to share with you during this comment is Alyson Stanfield's book "I'd rather be in the studio". I bought it not too long ago and hadn't looked at it much and then had the opportunity to meet her last week while in Wichita. I listened to her book-talk and her q & a with the audience and walked away really liking her and respecting her direction for artists. Since then I've flipped through it quite a bit and appreciate it more. She seems to be a good motivator and helps with areas that don't seem to be your strongest.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Janice, I have a friend that has taken Alyson's courses online and has been to her workshops, she seems to really like her as well. Thanks for your comments, I visited your blog, good luck getting back at it!

Lori Buff said...

Georgia is another state where they are cutting arts programs drastically, even though it's the best way for some people to learn. A lot of folks don't learn math until they take a music class. It just seems like it would be better to figure out how to help fund these programs (art shows, concerts,...) rather than just cutting them. Or maybe we could stop subsiding big oil companies and give some money to our future generations. Opps, I'll get off the soap box now.

Tracey Broome said...

EXACTLY!!

jimgottuso said...

hi tracey, it's deplorable to cut art out of education, it's deplorable to minimize it in anyway... unfortunately, it's not surprising. everything else is upside down so why would our society get this one thing right. i tell sofia constantly that drawing is very important and that it makes her see better... i hope it sticks.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Jim: I hear ya! Our house has been filled with art and art projects since Wesley was born and she is a better person for it! The educational views of our government just SUCKS!