Lili Krakowski on sat 4 sep 10
We not only go around the mulberry bush at least ten times a year about =
this, but we go around a whole mulberry orchard! Thank goodness =3D
plenty of mulberry dessert recipes!
We are entrenched in three camps. =3D20
1. Those who argue --like Vince--that Making Art is an activity ( =3D
and my words here) like Playing Sports, or Doing Construction. Whether =3D
what you do is "good" or "bad" is not the point...your pots may look =3D
horse pucks, you may never get the ball over the net, and the dog house =3D
collapsed on poor Buster the first time it rained....but never =3D
mind...QUALITY is separate from ACTIVITY.
2. Those who (like me) consider the words Art and Artist words of =3D
praise, honorifics, awarded only for great skill and =3D
accomplishment--sometimes for content. To describe oneself as "an =3D
artist" is over the top, arrogant, a bit pompous. It is perfectly =3D
fine to use the word as shorthand to describe one's activity on some =3D
official form etc., (what functionary has heard of encaustic? ) but =3D
otherwise --well, it is like talking of oneself as a beauty, a genius, a =
3. Those who stay out of this debate, and use the words flexibly, so =3D
that they will say to a five year old "You are a real artist" and say =3D
it to a 100 year old Japan named a National Treasure.
The Internet and all those web pages, blogs, and whatnot are both =3D
muddying and clarifying the issue.
When I look at some of these pages--always because the "owner" or =3D
someone else directed me to them--I sometimes am awed, I sometimes =3D
smile, more often I gag. =3D20
All that "advertisement for myself " reveals an artist, someone who may =
get there sometime, and an unfortunate in need of another pastime. =3D
None of this has to do with "business" or money-making. (Vide the =3D
ongoing popularity of Elvis painted on black velvet!)
I do not think Randall is "trivializing" anything.=3D20
Vince writes: "My whole contention is... that the terms "art" and =3D
"artist" are not at all exclusive, and can be rightfully claimed by =3D
anyone making art, with no
qualitative judgment at all. Regarding well-known artists, you could say =
the same about well-known doctors, well-known lawyers, well-known=3D20
politicians, well-known performers....."
The less exclusive words are, the less meaning they have. So that if =3D
there is such a thing as "making art" and it is a vagueness floating =3D
over the heads of well-intentioned folk--the words mean as little as =3D
"gourmet" does these days.=3D20
And--here we get back to Square One--doctors and lawyers have to pass =3D
rigorous tests before assuming their titles. NOT saying that tests are =3D
end-alls and be-alls--just that the exist as criteria. Politicians =3D
may/may not be vetted by the electorate. And performers are in the same =
area as potters. =3D20
Vince Pitelka on sat 4 sep 10
Lili Krakowski wrote:
"1. Those who argue --like Vince--that Making Art is an activity ( and
my words here) like Playing Sports, or Doing Construction. Whether what yo=
do is "good" or "bad" is not the point...your pots may look horse pucks, yo=
may never get the ball over the net, and the dog house collapsed on poor
Buster the first time it rained....but never mind...QUALITY is separate
Dear Lili -
WHOA! Do you know me at all? After all these years and all this dialogue?
Whether what you do is good or bad is entirely the point, but it does not
determine whether or not you are an artist or are making art. I have
graduated dozens of BFA students, and not a sloppy pot or poor sculpture
among a single one of them. OF COURSE making art is an activity, and the
art might be bad or good, but I have always strongly advocated, and always
will strongly advocate the making of GOOD art with an extensive foundation
in the fine craft of art. The artistry and craftsmanship of art are centra=
to any sort of effective visual expression. I expect that we agree on that.
I have always maintained that anyone who makes art is an artist, and anyone
who claims to be an artist has a right to the title. There are no standard=
for determining who is an artist, nor should there be, because that would b=
arbitrarily limiting. The public response and the test of history sort it
all out quite effectively.
"The less exclusive words are, the less meaning they have. So that if ther=
is such a thing as "making art" and it is a vagueness floating over the
heads of well-intentioned folk--the words mean as little as "gourmet" does
No, no, no, exactly the opposite is true. The less exclusive words are, th=
more inclusive they are. Perhaps that is a "well, duh!" statement, but I
don't know how else to say it. If you elevate the word "artist" to an
honorific, then it becomes classist and exclusionary, and people who might
become artists are afraid of the word and the concept. My objective is to
open the realm of artist to as many people as possible in order to get them
involved in the arts. As I said, the public response and the test of
history sort it all out quite effectively. We do not need to do that
ourselves by over-defining the terms in a way that becomes restrictive and
severely limits involvement and possibilities.
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University
Fabienne McMillan on sat 4 sep 10
Lawyer and doctors juggle with lives... I'd sure hope we'd have tough
standards for them. On the other end a bad pot made by an "artist" may
only hurt one's wallet, but if s/he bought it in the first place, it's
probably b/c s/he likes it so no hurt there either.
"We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace." ~
Peggy Tabor Millin
On Sep 4, 2010, at 10:45 AM, Lili Krakowski wrote:
> And--here we get back to Square One--doctors and lawyers have to
> pass rigorous tests before assuming their titles. NOT saying that
> tests are end-alls and be-alls--just that the exist as criteria.
> Politicians may/may not be vetted by the electorate. And performers
> are in the same area as potters.