Saturday, September 18, 2010

Try it, you'll like it

I passed this charming little museum this afternoon, and had to stop for a photograph -- it seems such a sad commentary on the economy these days -- especially for artists.  And I have to say -- it doesn't look like we're going to get some kind of New Deal coming through to fund art projects; the government is way too busy bailing out bankers and auto executives.

But that doesn't mean the impulse for art is dead -- in a lot of ways, art is more alive now than ever: I keep meeting people who, having lost traditional jobs, are exploring more creative alternatives.  And I've noticed that the first Friday gallery hops on our little island have grown very popular, though it's not clear there are all that many sales.

So, yes, those of us who are artists are struggling more than ever to make ends meet. But there's still beauty out there to capture, whether on canvas, or film; in music or dance; in clay or basketry or rugs or weavings...

I was thinking of this as my friend left yesterday to drive his daughter to North Carolina for a 9 week internship at the John C Campbell Folk School. You wouldn't BELIEVE how many different kinds of art are taught there -- everything from broom making to marbling, soap making and story telling.  Imagine how much fun it would be to spend some time in a place like that!  Do any of those activities call to you?  Perhaps you need to listen to the call.  You don't have to go to Carolina, but it might be possible to do something with things you already have lying around the house -- even cutting up magazines to make collages can be fun, and can bring a little joy into your life.  And I can say from experience that making time to sing with a few friends at a nursing home can be VERY rewarding.

Here's one thing I know is true: just because the museums and galleries are struggling, it doesn't mean that the artistic spirit isn't still alive and well.  Because art -- and we tend to forget this -- was never really about the selling: it has always been about giving voice to that wild creative spirit that dances in our souls.  So please -- don't give up!  Take advantage of this fallow period: learn something new, or try a different approach.  Explore a different angle, or embark on a project... If there are no buyers out there, that means you can create solely for yourself this time.  Which might make for some surprises -- so why not give it a shot? 


Maureen said...

That picture is a classic. Love it.

The school sounds terrific.

Good post!

altar ego said...

A local art guild held a special "100 for 100" event this weekend, showing 100 (and more) pieces of art for sale for $100 or less (mostly less). They wanted to help people who couldn't afford high prices for original art to be able to begin a collection. I thought it was genius! I wasn't able to go, but think the idea is fabulous. It helps everyone, and connects artist and art enthusiast when they might not have an opportunity otherwise. I hope the group does this on a regular basis, and I hope that the idea takes root everywhere.

There were also higher priced pieces available for those who could pay more. Another bennie.

Kimberly Mason said...

I would LOVE to go to that school! We have the ARTrails going this last weekend and the coming weekend. 30 artist studios in the area have opened their doors. I visited two for feature articles. I want to be one of them so badly! But I'd need a body of work to show and to actually intend to sell art. Maybe not today or next year even, but someday, maybe, yes? I think I'd really enjoy being a part of such a diverse community.