I know… I have been gone from this place of storytelling and sharing work for a while. A break, a bog, another path for a time, but I have been working in my studio. Not in a straight line, but working.
I have been drawing and pulling together some different story lines from my life…pieces of the every day around me and from places that carry immense meaning to me.
I have also been thinking a lot – about what art making and sharing and spectating means to me. I signed the petition put out yesterday by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, which I have included here if you want to have a look. http://www.artsactionfund.org/. I pulled out my notebook and pencil and began writing.
The concept of art; that art is a shared societal value, must be a part of our national philosophy…from the top down and the bottom up. It is a sign of a healthy nation. The government does not fund all individual artists or art organizations just by stating its support of the concept and value of art in our nation’s culture. Support in the form of statements and affirmation count. They set the tone and convey an important symbolism that we have a desire to encourage creativity and expression in our citizenry. Concrete funding counts too, in validating the relationship between our nation’s philosophy and the individual artists, creators and participants.
What better symbol to support than the expressive health of a human being or a creative group of people working together?
Art is how we live. Art is how we love. Art is how we feel. Art is how we teach and how we communicate.
Art asks questions of us and allows our hearts and minds to soar. Art digs deeply to the core of our emotions, whether it’s our own stories we are telling or painting…whether it’s music or a play…a graphic novel or a poetry slam to which we respond.
Inevitably, what comes out the other side of our participation, is hope. Can any of us say that hope is not needed?
Hope is the essence of being human. We get up every day to face and move through our challenges and joys. At every age, we do it. The essence of art is hope. Artists make work to elicit hope for change, for remembrance, to churn our emotions, to conserve beauty, to make us laugh, to create joy – to connect.
It matters. As a nation, we must have some government representation that speaks for artists and “the arts.” Symbolism matters, it can be a guiding light…inspirational through dark days and light.
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