If Americans were to be given a life survey, maybe one much like a political pole, or one with a number of life questions rated 1 to 100, where do you think the importance of art or the arts would land on the list? Would they choose it over anything that had to do with food, shelter or any facet of survival?
No, of course not. Would they choose it over math or science? Hum, not likely. History? Well, maybe? How about in relation to entertainment? Would owning art or visiting a museum or art show, or even making art, win out over sports? Trust me, that’s an apparent no! The same could be said of news and politics! Art would not on the face of things, at least as something to do, win out over TV, movies, theater, or listing to music either, except that all are actually art in one form or another.
The deeper question is, if you stopped 100 people on the street and asked them to rate the importance of art in their lives, how would it do in today’s world? Not very well? I would contend and I’m sure you would agree, it certainly depends on the street. The more economically sound, the more likely they would be to care. But art as we know it must remain relevant within the world we live in today or it will slip deeper into the past from which it came. We no longer really use horses and buggies for transportation, but they still can be found. Is that how art is today?
I could further delve into this topic by noting visits to furniture and home accessory shops, the “art” they sell are Chinese manufactured paintings or canvas prints which have been painted over and sell for very little money. People are buying this stuff and placing it on their walls as art. Is it? Is this the new meaning and version of art? Is this arts relevance in today’s world? Watch a home show like HGTV and are they telling people to visit galleries, or how to make “art” from twigs or block painted canvas from Michaels?
Has art lost it real mojo? Has its function of enlightenment been lost in a low price-driven world? You may expect a golden answer from me right now, but this blog post is about awareness. I like to keep you thinking!
Live an artful life,