Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 60

A long time ago, I became aware that many of us

have a tendency to lump nature into simplistic categories,

such as what we consider beautiful or ugly,

important or unimportant.

As human a thing as that is to do,

I think it often leads us to misunderstand

the respective roles of life forms

and their interconnectedness.

Gary Larson, American cartoonist and creator of The Far Side

 

IAN SHAY - Artist's HandI know better.  Never write when upset or, more so, when angry.

Never write when any emotion is piqued to the max.  But, damn it…

I am not expendable!  My discipline is not expendable!  My vocation is not expendable!

What has set me off is the recent news that the New Bedford School Department’s multi-million dollar budget error has resulted in the possible layoff of 250 employees or which, at least two-thirds are faculty.

How it got to that point is another story for someone else to rant about.  Of course, what and where to cut is being seriously considered.

And, as I have seen time and time again the Arts are on the cutting block.  Why?

The institutions and the curricula that formed me and others like me are not expendable!

The past, the present and the future of the Arts are not expendable!

Art is not a line item!  Art instructors are not line items!  Art programs are not line items!

Art is not just a nicety!  Art has a purpose and is as purposeful as any other subject or discipline.

Art is as integrated into other disciplines and subjects as Mathematics.  In fact, Art is a side of the same coin where Mathematics is found.

They both guide and teach us about harmony and balance of which, neither may be considered solely esoteric – separately and together.

Just when the trend from S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)  movement is gaining momentum and evolving and finally including what should have been a part of this right brain educational philosophy to begin with – Art, this happens.

S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) is, or is not a system, a philosophy or a pedology?  Yet, even at the early stages of this concept, Art is singled out.

Art, or more correctly, the Arts are not by definition, “of little significance when compared to an overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned.”   The Arts, its educators, students, practitioners and appreciators are not in anyway dispensable, unnecessary or unimportant.

And never, are they/we replaceable, nonessential or, inessential.  My Art and that of other artists here and now and, then is not, has not and will never be expendable!

Without getting into the history of it – at one time – we artists were the masters and not the slaves.  Look at us now…

I’m rewriting Larsen’s quote and replacing Nature with Art.  The meaning isn’t altered.  It’s intensified!

… many of us have a tendency to lump Art into simplistic categories,

such as what we consider beautiful or ugly, important or unimportant. 

As human a thing as that is to do,

I think it often leads us to misunderstand

the respective roles of the Arts and

their interconnectedness.

 

 

Posted on: 20/06/2013, by :
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