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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our Response to Art and Life.

Art is a reflection of a life. To be an artist does not simply mean that you paint or sculpt, or write or are engaged in a creative, expressive process. It's so much more than that. It's a whole way of perceiving the world and yourself as an active creator within it. Art not only deeply roots our aesthetics and sensitivities to nuance, but actually shows us how a life is purposefully chosen to be lived.

It is no surprise to me that most artists struggle to make financial ends meet. The artist's purpose (the drive to search for truth no matter how hard or painful it may be; to discover meaning and beauty even in the smallest of things; to engage in connections that confirm and inspire the deepest within us) typically appears irrelevant in a culture that supports flighty entertainment and business prowess. And how a culture responds to and supports its artists is one of the most significant reflections of its own mental, emotional and spiritual health.

When art is written off as too intellectual it exposes the absence of innate curiosity to discover something new and grapple with the challenge of not understanding.  When artists have the reputation of being too sensitive it expounds the fact that emotions are not seen as something of dire importance. And when we are not open enough for art to evoke a deep response within us, we have lost an essential part of what it means to be human.