mayday, mayday

This is the kind of mail I get that makes my blood boil. One, I am an artist. I am always being sent information like this. Always being asked to join/donate/help support. What are they really asking for? They aren't making it easier for an individual artist as far as I can tell.

I want to be clear in my intentions here. I'm not trying to set it up where I just complain about everything out there and not have a solution. For starters, I am just trying to show some examples of how diseased the art world appears to me.

The above donation says: Yes I want to join the blah blah blah to help reverse the downward trend in funding for the arts and censure that all Americans have the opportunity to appreciate, value, and participate in the arts. (you can go online and enjoy all kinds of art. you can go into so many stores and galleries and museums that it would fill up years of your time)

Nothing about artists is mentioned, this is about you the art lover/viewer instead. The enclosed letter talks about how in virtually every part of the country today, the arts are struggling. Funding for the arts is declining and in many communities arts organizations are fighting for their very survival. So far I have personally never been helped by any art organization. They make it so difficult to get any funding/grants/help that I begin to wonder who they are really helping. In my search for grants and funding, so far all I have found are organizations that will help you if you have proposals for art installations. Or are a male between the ages of 18-28. Or you are young and went to art school. Or you are this and that. Married. Single with kids. Have one eye and speak creole. Get my point? It isn't easy.

They underline the following: 'make no mistake...unless we reverse this disheartening trend, many theaters, museums, and music venues will be forced to close their doors...and tens of thousands of children will have to 'do without' arts education in school.' I seriously doubt that. Crayons cost less than microscopes. I don't believe for a second that all the institutions in America that cater to art are ready to collapse. Go to any major museum and check ticket sales. Are you kidding me?

The letter says 'the less art kids get, the more it shows. art. ask for more.'

Art is never EVER going to disappear. EVER.

I am looking for and hoping for massive changes in the art world. Change is typically looked upon as something bad and disruptive. Change is unavoidable. The sooner things change the better. When things don't change they stagnate. This letter, to me, reeks of stagnation.


Misplaced said...

Great post. You're right art will never disappear- it would be interesting to see what form art would take as it evolves and morphs. One of the things I like about your blog is that it firstly teaches me about art - of which I know very little but with posts like these challenge thought- I love it- thanks.

Self Taught Artist said...

appreciate the feedback, this is new territory for me, your encouragement is a boost as well as a reality check. no foaming at the mouth if i can help it.

m.m.crow said...

your post on raising money to save art reminds me of trying to raise money to cure cancer. there is no "cure" for cancer. the possibility of eliminating cancer exists in it's prevention not in it's cure. just as preserving art (which would always continue to exist anyway) lies in supporting artists not in supporting the museums and galleries that exploit artists.

Self Taught Artist said...

good thoughts crow. I would take it further and say this whole 'supporting artists' thing is even messed up. Why do artists need to be supported? Do lawyers? Do truck drivers? Somehow we need to get it together as artists and stop being 'starving artists'. Its our responsibility as much as the Art World to change how we are perceived and treated.