What are our responsibilities as artists?
And I am asking Socially, Politically, Spiritually, as well as Personally.
We all know Art can create change. Art can heal. Art can explain. Art can inspire. Art can give hope. Art can be miraculous. At a time when so many are asking for help, there is a Haiti art-a-thon developing through Jerrys Artarama. Should I get involved? Can I organize a local fundraiser? Will painting for 24 hours straight be an inspired way to raise money? Is that what I should do? Artist are always asked to volunteer their time or donate their work. I have to pay my own bills and supply the basic living needs for my kids and myself and not rely others. But basically I am incredibly lucky... I live in the USA, I have a roof over my head and family nearby. I have a few gifts. I want to share my talent. Why is it so many people in our society are afraid of art? Why are so many galleries sterile depressing confusing places? What role do artist's play in keeping them that way? (Just thinking of my recent attempts to write my "artist statement" and fill it with airy fairy intellectual mind boggling incredibly important sounding descriptions!) I'm not cut out for all of this. Is working outside the galleries more in line with my artistic responsibilities? Can my studio be a center for hope and instruction? I love revealing my adult student's talents. This week there have been two young visitors to my studio. One came to see how I work and another to share her art development. I want to be approachable, inspiring, encouraging, and appear as an adult whose life is full of promise, adventure, awareness.
My friend, and artist, Moira K. points out that if you have a talent you have a responsibility to be true to it. To listen to it and not paint for a market or sell yourself for a profit. Is that the responsibility? Could it be that simple?