You may ask, “What is this blog, and why should I read it?”
Well during the last several years I learned a great deal about the art community here in Grand Rapids, and I realized that, at least in the circles I belong, that there is not a large amount of dicussion over fine art. There was even less prior to Art Prize coming to town a few years ago.
But even now, we have our festivals and a rich culture, a few art competitions (ok Art Prize is the largest cash prize competition in history), and a number of non-centrally located galleries. But that is it. It just seems like our medical community draws more conversation than our art community.
I have found a select few who will engage in a conversation with me over brush strokes and the pursuit to avoid sentimentality in paintings. Unfortunately, most people that I know judge a painting on how realistic it looks. The closer to Photorealism, the better the painting, and therefore the better the artist. Just look at the winners and the top two-dimensional entries in Art Prize.
I admit that I had a huge learning curve these last ten years. I mean, I did not study art in college, and it was only a few years ago that I took my first workshop. As I grow as an artist and strive to create something more profound and emotional as opposed to creating a larger Kodak print, I realize how art can not only affect the artist, but also the audience. I have also found other artists and have heard their struggles to survive and support a family as well as others who wish they could make the leap to be a full-time artist and leave their unfulfilling “day jobs” behind them.
This would be a good place to make one of my confessions…I am a history buff. I’ll leave it at that for now, but it has been clear to me how art has been highly valued throughout history. Not just the good times, but the really bad times filled with war and plagues. I just can’t belive why people today do not value art and what it can bring to society, and why we do not talk about it at every third water cooler. I say ever third, because you still have to fit in the war in Iraq and the economy.
This brings me to the blog. I moved my website to the blog in order to merge it with the newsletter, The Art Advocate, I had created a few years back. I called it the Art Advocate because I wanted to advocate for art. Art and the discussion of it, the pursuit of it, and the appreciation of it, has value for us and I want to promote that. This blog is my attempt to bring art to those of us who do not hang out at an art salon (or do not konw that an art salon has nothing to do with your hair).
To answer the final question, Why should you read this? I honestly have no good answer for that one. I can say that one of my goals is for other more interesting writers to contribute as guest posters in the future, so be patient.
Until then, I hope your next water cooler (ok nobody actually talks at a water cooler anymore) conversation will include a discussion about the controversial issue of the use of photographs as reference material.