Art in Society

Art has always reflected the society in which it exists. Today, social media, and perceived decadence has left large segments of society including those interested in the arts disconnected from the art being created and promoted by trained artists. Government grants awarded by elitists to artists who’s work is perceived to be very difficult to understand have further eroded the public’s understanding of art.

Canadian Art

Canadian society proclaims itself inclusive, yet within this declared inclusivity we still observe exclusivity, ghettoization, and microcosmosization within Canadian communities. This isolationism and narrow-mindedness also extends itself into our arts communities.  We declare that our society is more open, fair and equal than many others, however is this really true? Does the art we see promoted through the grant system truly represent Canadians as a whole?

Is it an educational problem?

We are told by the experts that this is an educational issue and that there is not enough arts education available to the populace. But is this really factual? Of course education in the arts is readily available in many forms to anyone wishing to improve their knowledge in the arts. The problem lies not with the lack of available education but in who exactly is to be discerned as having the required expertise, training and knowledge to teach. Self-indulgent behaviors of all kinds remain a mainstay of a society in decline, included the ones found in the fields of education, the arts and sciences. Allowing such self-indulgent behaviors to co-exist within the confines of experience and expertise has had an impact on how much experience and expertise is perceived but the public.

The role of the artist

The role of the trained artist is to bridge the gap between the mediocrity of self-indulgence and art that is truly meaningful. Our standards must be raised and not lowered, if we are to rise above the societal perceptions of what exactly art is and who exactly the person is who is creating it. As trained artists, there needs to be a discernible difference between  self-indulgence and that which can be found in our  work.

Creative objective

The art we create needs to be good and it needs to be understood by the many not only the few.

Credit Image above: Cowry Shell II. Pastel on Terraskin, 17.5 x 25 inches © Stewart Fletcher

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