The Arts Are Undervalued in Our Culture.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ElJay370, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Northern Tele

    Northern Tele Tele-Meister

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    I believe artists are born not made. The true artist will find a way to make their art. There is nothing wrong with working a straight job while also pursuing creative interests.

    I don't know why some think it has to be an either or choice. I work a job, play in a band, teach lessons and paint/ do exhibits ..

    When I am into painting I go full tilt..then after those manic periods of painting I'm back to guitar . I think being able to compartmentalize is a positive thing. Selling paintings is immensely satisfying but there is sometimes months between sales. Having a unobtrusive job with benefits is great for paying for art supplies and general living..bottom line you can persue art/music in a serious manner and still work.
     
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  2. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I dunno, I think high school gym class was a pretty good microcosm of the working world- being stuck with a bunch of jerks you don't like and being forced to do something stupid for a pointless goal you don't care about. i don't know of an equivalent in the arts that teaches this.

    Indeed, which is its own problem.
     
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  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I noticed that kids training for the football team ate more sensibly. I know basketball players who could get up at 4:30 AM and train, when their musician brother slept 4 more hours. I know people with disabilities who immensely enjoy sports by vicarious means.

    The main issue I think is, there's so much graft in the construction, and there's too much emphasis on comfort and spectacle and not enough on the event itself. It isn't that the facility is bad, IMO, it is that it is huge and Gold Plated and businessmen lined their pockets by re-directing the mission from creating something for kids and their parents to do, into some kind of Roman Coliseum.
     
  4. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    I see a lot of passion there. I wonder if there's a way we can push some grant money her way to develop that passion? Just spit-ballin' here but, maybe the Ministry of Silly Walks?
     
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  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Nice!
    I'm no qualified judge of sane behavior, but I think those are sane ways of supporting your kids choices.

    My use of the word "foolish" is simply to participate in the process that I have tried and failed to extricate myself from.

    As a little kid I grew up in artists studios, both parents were artists and my Mother was also a life model.
    The arts did not fund childcare, so I was stuck in the studio corner left to my own devices.

    My point is that one should only pursue a life as an artist if they must.
    My point also includes a reality in which every art inclined person gets lots of conflicting advice.
    Mine is avoid it at all costs!
    Those who cannot avoid it will not be hurt by my suggestion!

    When a new friend tells me they are an artist, I generally respond with "my condolences".

    The condolences are for all the thankless labor.
    Also because it is instantly understood.
    Condolences are also a kindness to those who labor for society, enjoying little or no support system generally provided for other more practical pursuits. Those who serve...

    I really can't say some of the stuff I have to say or wish to convey, here.

     
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  6. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Gotta say, Yes, and No.

    Yes in that there is more for the soul--or the most resonant parts of self, if you prefer--at a good museum than, say, at a professional wrestling match, or in online shopping. I am deeply sure that Mozart is better for us and in itself than muzak, that a great opera is more important than a forgotten-in-a-moment sitcom, etc. So, in that sense, Americans' relatively low patronage of museums, opera, etc., indicates under-valuing the arts. I have Andrew Wyeth on one wall, Van Gogh on another, Edward Hopper on another, etc., 'cause they're great painters, and have enriched my kids' view of life just by hangin' 'round.

    At the same time, the freedom we have to choose or find what matters to us--to ignore the opera and watch wrestling; to online shop for a great Mozart or muzak set or browse trashy gossip--is itself a great practical and inherent value. We're dignified by having so much choice, by our right to choose being left alone to do as it wants, to develop (or stunt, or both) ourselves as we see fit. We may squander it, but the right to find, decide, and define "art" as we want to is the greatest good here. So any critique that we under-value the arts comes pretty close to insulting the deeper-yet value of the individual's right to be him/herself, whatever that may be, as long as it's not directly hurting someone else who doesn't deserve the hurt. There's a prescriptiveness in this kind of debate that's almost anti-democratic. After all, Carmen Electra makes art of trash, yes?

    Plus, almost everyone has his/her own sense of "art," anyway. To some, it's the flying tires at a NASCAR crash. To others, it's the peach tones of a September sunset in the far edges of the lawn.... So when we say X art is and Y art is not, or is lesser, I dunno. It seems to me that what we call "art" has to be very individual, and that surprising things--rusting machinery, flying trash, ABBA--might very well have an artfulness to them that the high or fine arts might all too easily overlook.

    Ditto the "art" we see in nature. My youngest son and I are building a (very) mini log cabin (that will house our antique fishing lures). The differences in bark among the various branches and twigs we're using are incredible, and fascinating. Young 'un he is, he finds the fresh pine bark art, while old man that I am, I like how the lichen die into a bark-on-bark, shingled effect.

    As long as someone is finding something to be "art" that that isn't hurting someone innocent and also fosters feelings of appreciation and generosity, it's all okay w/ me.
     
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  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My Dad was a design engineer for a multitude of space/aeronautics/defense/marine projects (maybe 1/2 weapons based) and we moved around to a lot of different schools.

    And the districts where sports facilities were provided also had fit students. And the school districts where kids had no such outlet, the kids were not in shape, ate the wrong stuff, and so on.

    Developing strength, endurance, flexibility, eye to hand co-ordination, etc., are all worthwhile things and if you take football and boxing out, the participants live longer and healthier lives.

    Look at the pro musicians you know. 75% of them are in worse health than their neighbors. Art Neville and Mac Rebennack and Allen Toussaint paid no attention to healthy living - they died too soon only in part from broken hearts. The "sports" guys (at least the ones I know) are doing far better than this on average.
     
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  8. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    That's something I think about a lot with my kids. I don't want to offer praise - that's exactly what I got when I was that age. What I could have used was someone to tell me, "Okay, you say you want to be an artist? Here's what you do..." instead of just saying "Oh wow you're so talented!" More problem solving art/design skills, more tricks of the trade, examples of how it all fits in with the world, and less talk about "using your gifts." It's work, not magic!

    So when my daughter shows me her drawings, or songs she makes up, sure I show interest, but I try to make it an engaged interest with some feedback and hope it's better than what I got. I'm not an educator or someone who knows about these things, but it sure seems like (from what I've read) when kids figure it out for themselves it's way better than any outside encouragement they could get.
     
  9. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    I think its the current implementation, structuring education rather by ages or other common aspects may be positive or negative, but its not the categorization per se, but rather how its implemented and how it functions to retard education, rather than increase it.
     
  10. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Meister

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    That could be an entire discussion in and of itself, no question. I would come at it from the stated perspective: Education, if you want it to lead to free thought and expansive thinking, cannot be accomplished systemically - by which I don't just mean age segregation and other familiar regimentation. Maybe there can be a systemic element to establish some baselines, but it takes much, much more than that.
     
  11. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    animators get rheumatism and carpal tunnel, football players get brain injuries leading to early dementia. The body wears out irregardless of our best efforts and most people don't use best efforts until its to late in the game.

    Many artist have mental issues (as does the general populace) we are in a dysfunctional age, while the mental issues are great wellsprings for mining emotional material, conversely they lead to neglect of health, neuroses and sometimes premature death.

    many atheletes have become aware of repetitive stress and also they have top notch medical care and insurance, many artist and musicians do not. hence you may indeed see more atheletes healthier than artist, I think its the safety net more than the occupation.
     
  12. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I guess you didn't know Jim Fixx, the man who singlehandedly started the fitness craze in America... and died of a heart attack at age 52 while running. Art Neville, Dr. John and Keith Richards all him beat by a pretty wide margin. Anecdotal evidence doesn't really hold up to empirical analysis, huh? If it did, I could go on about what braindead idiots all the sports kids were in high school were compared to the arts kids.
     
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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    While my personal biases put me on the opposite side of this viewpoint, I have to admit that it has as much merit as my side that is biased to consider graphic arts more craft than artistry.
    Accepting that potholders and tea cozies at the Rotary Club bake sale are art is reeeeaaaaallllly hard.
    Yet this internal struggle shows me my own bias and even bigotry like the gauges on the dash of a sports car.
    Herein is an example of the value of making art just for ourselves.
    My art bias insists that the artists work is constant (self/ society) inquiry, not the byproduct we can purchase.
    And I am as wrong as I am right.

    One issue though with the monetary value society funnels into the art community is the funnel itself.

    Artists who are good at self promotion and grant writing get most of the public funding, and an awful lot of it is "wasted"

    Here again, my personal biases force me to say money is wasted on artists whose strongest talents are self promotion and grant writing.

    Self promotion is an art form.
    Grant writing is an art form.

    Communication is even an art form when elevated to its highest possible function.

    Or from the other side, great art represents a/ the highest possible functionality communication can attain.
     
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  14. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    i beleive Mini-Cabins fall under the heading "Crafts" not art, unless ANdy Warhol is your general contractor..
     
  15. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    I want to challenge the notion that somehow art is less valuable than commerce. They're both equally important, in my opinion. To say that art is simply a side project is like saying eating is more important than talking. I view art as a vital part of human communication. If one were forced to choose between life in solitary confinement (no books, no talking to other people, nothing to write with, only solitude) for the rest of their life or death, would people find it absurd if there were those who would choose death? Can we fault people for throwing themselves into electrified concentration camp fences rather than endure the horrors of a concentration camp? If the state stopped cable television, the internet, all forms of artistic expression, could humans survive? Yeah, but would life be worth living in that situation? Stone age communities sat around fires (the ancient equivalent of electricity) with each other and I have no doubt they were singing in those caves. Art is essential to life because it gives life purpose. I'd include religion, with all its toxicity, as a form of Art/communication as well. Art is not a luxury; it's a necessity. You could make an equally powerful argument that the most important function of commerce is to allow humans to create art.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  16. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Where I live, I have seen that firsthand. Thank you for pointing it out. (I personally can't see how an artist can have any self respect after taking government money to to their bidding.)
     
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  17. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    What I mean by that example is that "art" is gonna be different things for different people (of course), for generally universal and potentially dignifying reasons. If we define "art" as well-crafted beauty that well expresses or embodies emotions and meanings that are otherwise elusive, and/or are deeply important--this includes a well-made screeching guitar solo to express anguish, aggression, etc., very well; thudding drums to express intensifying lust, etc.--then yeah, the things that seem pre-composed that are used to compose a mini log cabin can be "art." Just as one can find things in nature "art," in the sense that they seem composed of synergizing elements that, put together or coinciding that way, express or symbolize or prompt important emotions and meanings.

    I just drove back from dropping my oldest son at his job across town. As I turned onto our rather quiet side street, I saw a neighbor's cat lolling in the sun in the middle of it, and two kids on bikes slowly braking up to it, fascinated by the fearlessness of its lazy presumption. The burly mailman had paused to stretch his legs; a lank, shirtless college kid wearing headphones and too-cool shades was whizzing by on a skateboard; the thick old-tree shadows were swaying in the breeze, a lawnmower just out of sight was thrumming---it was an "art"ful composition, all by itself. Like running through a yard and finding a beautifully stitched shirt on your head when you crashed into a clothesline you didn't expect. Every little component was its own thing, but was also in such a place that it was all working together to say "Summer afternoon." (And, to me, Naptime!)

    So I gotta add that, to me, a test and sign of "art" is that it allows us to better recognize ands value artful things when they're found or created, by ourselves or others. A great movie, for example, lets you see the cinematic, the artful, aspects of many scenes and momentums of consequence, no less than the Mona Lisa can help us value enigmatic smiles....
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Here’s an iPad snapshot of a grainy B&W photo I shot in early ‘90s NYC.
    Professional woman during the glass ceiling era.
    Providing a safe comfortable lifestyle for her family.
    Walking with her daughter.
    I cannot find words to convey what I feel is held in this image.
    Which is fine and I have no formal education.
    This did hang in a show of 22 B&Ws of which three sold for $900 total, which covered my costs of printing and framing but not of my darkroom and cameras.
    I don’t mind if it has no real value as it is a part of my personal attempt to understand the trajectory of society.

    IMG_0988.jpg


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  19. LP26

    LP26 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    First off, I got an undergraduate degree in photojournalism followed by an MFA.
    I have made a living as a photographer for fifty years.
    My income for the first fifteen years came from documentary journalism, work that was widely published and exhibited.
    I switched gears in my mid-30's, photographing architecture. Again, this work was broadly published and exhibited.

    With that said, I feel as if I've been fortunate, even lucky, to have made my way in this world as an artist.
    I haven't gotten rich, but neither have I gotten poor.
    The great benefit, of course, is that I've never woken up and thought, "#%@#, I have to go to work!"
     
  20. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    In our culture, perhaps not as much as we would think. Most people find value in things of an artistic nature.

    In our economy, definitely. Most people, and by extension, most governments, don't want to actually pay BIG bucks for it.
     
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