February 13, 2017

Let’s Stop Calling Art Frivolous

My friend, Salley, who’s also an artist, wrote a really interesting post about the value of art last week.

You can read it here

Salley does amazing fabric art, and this ain’t your mama’s fabric art. Beautiful silk pieces that I might be slightly obsessed with right now.

You know what? Just go read more on her site. There are so many delicious, mind blowing posts that I would call profound bites. Short reads that stay on the brain. Go ahead. I’ll wait here.

One of the biggest struggles artists go through, outside of fear of rejection, is finding value in our work.

Art programs in schools are always the first ones cut. Whether we’re talking music or painting. Budget’s tight? Cut art.

And that attitude continues on outside of education.

It’s a shame, really, because art has power and it definitely has value.

Art tells the stories about our culture. Would we have less info about the ancient Romans and Greeks without their art? Absolutely.

But more than that, it has the power to include or exclude. The power to brighten a mood, change the energy in a space.

I love watching people come into my studio and just stop. Mouths open. Eyes wide.

They quickly look for faces they recognize. And then start wandering.

My walls are completely covered in art. Most of it my own.

It was powerful for me to unbox all my paintings when I moved in and just see them together. I’d never seen them all like this before.

And even more literally, I’ve been using my art to open dialogue about mental health and violence against women. Using my art to keep the words going, and to fund causes that make a difference.

So the next time you think about whether art is frivolous or not, think about this: art is music for our eyes and it has the ability to reach deep inside.

Making us think and feel. Talk and listen. And can be used to call us to action or to pause.

Right there, art has value.