Deep Thought Thursday: The need for art

Deborah Colter, Calculated Confidence ©2009, Deborah T. Colter, Calculated Confidence.

I keep reading and hearing this . . .

We need art and artists more than ever in these difficult times.

Is it true?

Why or why not?

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22 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday: The need for art”

  1. Absolutely! One of the things that struck me right after 9-11 was that making art was a singular life affirming act I could do at that moment of national sorrow. Its no different today- some of the best art is made in some of the most difficult times. Art reaffirms the best that we are or aspire to be.

  2. More than ever! Yes, I wrote on a blog post ( that “…having the simple luxury of time – breathing room – time to experiment with some new pieces… That recession should be thought of as a recess…timeout for the soul to play and regroup. The gloom and doom in the news everyday is difficult to bear at times. I am working hard on focusing…watching as things slowly begin to change…” Yes, Art is important – and always should be!

    and, thanks for choosing my work Alyson!

  3. I just read The Only True Genius in the Family: Jennie Nash, & it touched my soul a little bit…Yes, we need art now, but the real stuff that graces our hearts…I could do without the formulaic multiples…( I need to soothe the savage not strap the wallet…)

  4. I think it’s also true for those who love but do not make art. Art continues to communicate and generate/reflect thoughts and feelings – it’s just a challenging time for the money aspect of it, which is more about it’s a challenging time for anything associated with money (and the energy of money) right now than it is about art.

  5. Yes as much as ever, maybe more.

    Artists hear the prevailing wisdom just like everyone else but turn back and say “let me show you there’s another way to look at things.”

    We need just that, more than ever now that I think about it.

  6. I recently read that art does sell during a recession. When people don’t want to (or can’t) spend a lot on a vacation that takes them away, they want to surround themselves with beautiful images that can take them away in their own homes. Personally, making art helps lift me up from whatever it pulling me down.

  7. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Deborahs: Thank you.

    Sari: Glad you enjoyed the book. I love “graces our hearts.” Do you think that the “formulaic multiples” do, on some level, grace the hearts of certain people that they reach? Some people might read them only as images that they enjoy–not as truly special original art.

    Kathleen: I’d love for you to talk more about the challenging aspect of “the energy of money” and how that relates to the question of needing art. I think I’m missing something.

    Casey: Thank you. I’d love to explore “artistic courage” in more depth.

    Eric: Great quote! Art has been used as a weapon of sorts many times over the centuries. Most of us like to think of it in more affirming terms, but we shouldn’t sugar coat it.

    Philip: Perfect. And agreed. Artists give us a different take on the world.

    Christina: I’m heading there right now. Thanks for the link!

    Regina: I’d love to know your source. I agree with it, but I’m always looking for facts to back me up.

  8. Yes…(begrudgingly) I do think that formulaic multiples do grace the hearts of some people…I guess what I meant to say, is that now, more than ever, I think the art that we make, that I make, should ‘speak’ to our & your souls…This is a time for artists to do their thing, comfort, soothe, sympathize, empathize- I just meant that we shouldn’t be ‘playing golf’ mentally, when so many need us…

  9. The more complex and complicated life becomes–the more art is needed to express the complexities in simple ways.

  10. If 10% of the population could produce necessities for 100%, what would the 90% do?

    The age of art is coming. Your child is more likely to do something artistic than a traditional white-collar or blue-collar job.

  11. I sure hope so. I have always needed, required art and that brought me to opening up my own studio and gallery; at the tender age of– oh well NEVER MIND! 😉 We will be there when the economy improves which it is sure to do. I am so sorry to see so many gallerys close. It is a haul, we have had to switch gears to stay open. My understanding of the importance of art in everyday life is validated everyday by every person who walks in.

  12. No matter how discouraged I get (and I get discouraged a lot lately), I can’t stop making my art. I have to do it. It feeds me if no one else! Maybe persistence will pay off in the end, LOL.

  13. By the way, “Calculated Confidence,” the artwork posted here, is divine. Art = food for the heart and mind.

  14. True. We need art and artists. Artists are champions of creativity. We understand and share how making art cultivates thinking, feeling, and expressing. It’s a process of possibilities. In a time when prospects seem thwarted artists tangibly show, in their art, that there is potential and power in possibilities.

  15. Okay, one more thing.

    Artists need to articulate and advocate the visual voice. Especially now.

    Can you tell I have been thinking of this a lot? Alyson, thanks for the forum to gather my thoughts.

  16. Need. As a person who has traveled from the mind-set of art as an extra to art as a need, this input is based on looking at the world a slightly different way. I’m not much into fashion. But, skewing my view and looking at it as an art form let’s me appreciate it a different way. (The movie, Devil Wears Prada, had some interesting quotes that made me think differently. Hated the book, loved the movie.) Even if I don’t like it, I appreciate it. Entertainment is also a form of art. I don’t always agree with content, but that’s okay…I have my own personal filters. But some of the music, cinematography, singing, acting…breathtaking art. Also, because this post partly seems to spring from the economic times, I compare my financial situation from younger years to now…I have a little more room for extras than I did when I was younger. But, when I was penny-pinching, I still was able to make room for art: second-hand (someone’s cast-off), do-it-yourself, a print (yes, mass-produced, but still a replica of something I liked looking at), inexpensive mass-produced jewerly. I also discovered that for less money, I could buy gorgeous originals from launching or fledgling artists. That’s who I like to support now. Now it’s more of a conscious decision than a financial decision. I want what other people haven’t discovered and don’t have and I want to support new artists. I also now live in a big city. Well, work in a big city but live in a rural area. I’m not a fan of cities. But, I’ve skewed my view to look at the skyscrapers and urbanness as forms of art as well. To sum up: I think it’s a need. Art is so intrinsically woven into everything we do, that sometimes we don’t even realize it’s art.

  17. I think it’s enormously satisfying and comforting when art expresses and externalizes what people (/society) are going through. It’s just cathartic somehow – like “that’s exactly what I mean!”. It’s not about solving things or giving answers to things, just holding up a mirror.

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