Sunday, January 2, 2011

Manifesto -defending art

Most people I know think of art as a class you have to take. It's their idea of measuring up the talents of people against each other to tell the majority they can't draw. It's negative. "Oh, I can't draw." "Yeah, those artsy people.. they're freaks." A small town offers quite of a bit of criticism towards the arts. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what makes people go one way or the other, but whether I like it or not, Zimmerman is more willing to publish another article about a hockey win and how proud they are of Paul Martin because he's from Elk River and he's our hero and blah. Blah. Blah.

To be honest, I don't give a rip about the seriousness of sports. I personally believe that they should be played in the spirit of teaching to act as a team and a way to have fun, but it makes me uncomfortable when others put such a bedazzled blue ribbon on someone who can run faster or jump higher than someone else. That is my opinion. I know that offends a lot of the people I love and most of the people I've grown up with, but baby, I just don't give a damn.

Of course, someone gets to then ask me why art is so important. If I'm such a hater of the value our country puts on sports, what makes art so deserving? Well, first of all, I enjoy art. Some people don't, that's fine. Going to an art college isn't for everyone. What irks me is how many people don't understand how broad art is. They don't have to be "good" at art, or be talented at drawing. A lot of artists don't draw well, and it takes a lot longer than a few seconds to draw more than a stick person. I swear, all my math teachers constantly talked about their poor drawing skills. That rolled my eyes several times.

I like to think about art. Having parents who are interested in art made me see how much art there really is in the world (a heck of a lot). I can draw better than my dog can but that's not a prerequisite to loving art. My boyfriend can't crank out anything a snooty art teacher would call "talented" but he loves art museums and appreciates the way something is presented. He has less knowledge than a student at CVA and yet is aware of art in life. He knows it's not some forced class you take in high school. It's kind of like math- I hated it in school but sometimes catch myself admiring it in life outside of the classroom. You don't have to be Leonardo DaVinci to like a subject.

So art is everywhere. I can't just say that and get away with it. Some people need to realize that it's in their house. I do consider architecture art, and I'm pretty darn sure someone designed that house. There's probably carpet somewhere in there. A designer chose that specific pattern of ugly white burber, your parents or the previous homeowners chose it for a reason, and you walk across it every morning to grab another disgusting room-temperature Pop Tart before texting me back and saying "lol so hows ur artsy fartsy school goin". Then you wipe the brown sugar flavored crumbs on a Victoria's Secret PINK T-shirt without knowing that your makeshift napkin was actually designed and carefully considered before being released and sold as part of a collection in the gigantic world of fashion. That's right, art is right on your body. You like name brands but insist art is stupid. Hmm.

Art is on the billboards along the highway. It's what made your pickup truck "more ballin" than Jason's, yes it is partly the way things simply look. If it weren't for the progression and ever-changing ideas of art, everything would be for efficiency alone. And whether you like it or not, you judge things by the way they look. 

There's that kind of art, visual. Then there's "the arts." I do consider writing an art. It's about creating, which is why music and performance is also what I consider art. I think art is something that's created, and also for a reason. Viewers, listeners, and readers are constantly trying to figure out the purpose of the art they have before them. As stated in one of my earlier posts, it's not always about the reason. It's the fact that someone did make it and what it makes you feel. 

I think art is very human. My favorite shows emotion but is interpretable, which is why I'm such a photography nerd. Art has concepts. It requires you to use your brain. Music is a good example of the attraction we have to this. Humans love specific arrangements of sounds. What makes Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune convey such a contrasting mood compared to something with a different beat, rhythm, and melody? That's not vital to our survival as animals; it is as thriving beings. Art isn't your basic food and water, but it's not something we don't need. A lot of people just don't get it that they come across every kind of art in a single day and never see it in the eyes of someone who devotes their life to exploring it, someone we'd call an artist. It's shocking to most to find out that you don't need to be talented with a pencil or paintbrush to be an artist. You need to be aware of yours and others' creativity. 

Ashley Overholser

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