Yikes! If I miss a week of posts, it is because I am in a groove with something, or just really having fun. Or, both situations – if I’m in a creative or other productive groove, I’m having fun. Last week flew by from canning green tomato relish, and preparing and participating in a local art festival. I was not a vendor at the festival, but I volunteered to demo my stitching and fabric collage techniques. Here are a couple of views of my table of creative collage chaos:
The weather was perfect, and I enjoyed renewing acquaintances with local artists. We all agreed that we need to get together more and promote our skills in the community, and encourage others to learn new things. One of my goals is find ways to stitch more out in public view, and talk to people about what I am doing. There are many ways to accomplish this: make something while waiting for an appointment, get out and sketch while on break, have artist trading cards to give away to anyone who asks about what you are doing. Talk about why art is important to you, and why you like your chosen media. Have fun!
I am inspired, perplexed, encouraged and concerned after my visit to the opening reception of the Zanesville Museum of Art’s Ohio Annual exhibit.
Inspired – I always find a couple knock-my-socks-off pieces that either are a visual delight in of themselves or introduce me to a new technique or idea. I also need to get working and make something to submit to this show in the future.
Perplexed – Of course there’s always a piece or two of art that just makes me wonder… obviously the artist was pleased with the result, the jury felt the same way, but I don’t always see what others find in a given piece. The things that any of us make are not always going to resonate with all of the people that see them. Is it more important to please a greater number of people, or only satisfy oneself and not be concerned with the viewer?
Encouraged – Zanesville is not a big city. It looks like it has seen better times. I’m still amazed that is has an art museum, small as it is. I applaud their mission to promote the visual arts, past and present, in a region that desperately needs cultural events. I am also encouraged by Zanesville’s support of fiber and textile arts in this show, offering a cash prize above the usual award amount for the other prize categories. This show always has a good mix of media, of course heavy on the painting, but it is crucial to support and encourage the artists working in other media. Fiber/textile art and art quilts have really struggled with the ongoing art versus craft conundrum, and I think the line between art and craft continues to dissipate.
Concern – What concerns me is the future of support for the visual arts and fine craft. I wonder how many people at the opening were there who did not have a connection to an artist in the show. It is tough to convince a population that is struggling with basic living expenses that art is something essential in their lives. Personally, it is the skills I have in creating something, even just something to hang on my wall to look at, that get me mentally through difficult times. I feel the same coping effect when I go to look at the collections of a museum or go to see what others have made at an art fair.
Go, get out and make something, or look at something beautiful! I’ll see you back here on Tuesday with my latest ICAD adventures.