photo by Josh Frenette

There are folks who would rather make a point out of an artistic offering rather than enjoy it as creative production within a discipline and tradition. As artists, we see this happen and never consider that those same folks would come for us too. This isn’t a dismissal reserved for fame and celebrity. It can happen to any of us.

Our society loves to make correlations. They do this with the art but ignore what it means for those who create it. Those same folks don’t care about what we say the art is, don’t care to sit and enjoy it within its context, and won’t celebrate the process. They don’t care about our desire to maintain the value of craft. They care about the conversation, the debate, the “I said what I said” of it all. We are often seen as just a gateway to a point to be made to society and not the beautiful execution of a creative imagining. 

“Art has the power to render sorrow beautiful, make loneliness a shared experience, and transform despair into hope…”

Brene Brown

Our art can provide the moment of joy people need, the escape people need, the welcoming to a conversation, or the gateway to what folks don’t know and haven’t been introduced to. When an artist’s work becomes sound bite criticism, what does that ultimately do to the artist? What happens if it is only valuable as an anecdote for what someone thinks they know? 

How often do we see people ranting about art because of people’s reaction to it but don’t show that same interest in the art itself. What kind of grinch critical theory is that? 

We can’t let social media immediacy and talk show socialization turn us into lemon bittered contrarians. 

My message to everyone is simple… Enjoy art. First. Allow it to be art. Second. Then discuss to your hearts content. 

But never forget that the folks behind the art, us artists, we are watching.