Today, I was driving home and a more obscure Clash song, "Ivan meets GI Joe" from their album Sandinista came on the radio, and I was overjoyed. It isn't one of my favorite songs but it still got me excited and then I starting to wonder why I felt that way.
First, the song is catchy. Second, the Clash will always be towards the top of my list. Third, the song is not the usual fodder for the college radio station, as the track is from an album from 1980. The real reason behind my joy...is that listening to that song on the radio gives me a sense of identity and community.
Okay... so what am I talking about?
There are artists in my town and probably your town too who are searching for a sense of identity and community, and they are having a hard time finding it. I live in a nice town, with a University, an arts center, a few galleries, and occasionally, many art events. Culture is touted as a amenity here. We have the Arts festival, Art Market, Art Amiss, BFA & MFA students, professional artists, gallery owners, a few arts collectives, and art lovers all here in this nice little melting pot, but somehow we aren't always melting.
Over the years, there have been meetings of the minds, ideas for studio spaces, and valiant attempts at promoting the arts and culture in this town. Some of us get involved when we can, and some complain about what is not here and yet do nothing. Some of us do both. Then, some of us are on the fringe and don't know about the meetings, or the groups that are trying to do something. Some of us keep our mouths shut as not to offend.
Well, I say enough! There has got to be a grass roots way to get us out of our homes, studios, sometimes cliquish events, and get us together in the same room talking about what we really need and want for ourselves and each other as artists.
I am talking about getting together for fun and community. Of course, not all groups of people are going to get along. Unfortunately, some people are going to think someone doesn't belong in the mix. Labels will be thrown around- crafts, quilts, pottery, fine art, abstract, installation, amateur, - there will be no pleasing all for sure. We all have our styles and our personalities. I still think we need to know one another and be aware of each other's work and aspirations.
My ultimate desire, is that I can keep doing what I am doing, making, showing, selling, and talking about art. However, I want to do that with a vibrant community of artists, talking together, sharing our successes and failures, obstacles, and desires. I want to be a part of an inclusive and connected group of proactive artists.
Anyone want to get together and talk about making art? This means you!
See "Subterranean" at the DDP gallery
7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5
and by appointment.
"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007