Friday, March 4, 2011

Artists Fighting Back

“Art is, like, the most worthless degree anyone can get. Like, haha, they have a degree in making shit with popsicle sticks.” This foolish and ignorant statement, overheard on a subway, has triggered a project out of Philadelphia called Artistic Rebuttal. The idea is to get as many artists as possible to make a page for a book that will make a statement about the importance of the arts. It will be presented in Washington for Arts Advocacy Day(s) April 4 + 5. Sponsored by Americans for the Arts, Arts Advocacy Day is geared toward getting the word to Congress and a broader audience that the arts are not a foolish waste of money but in fact form the heart and soul of any viable, ambitious, respectable civilization. Look around you - art, architecture, design, fashion, cars, websites, movies, etc. etc. - art, craftsmanship, design, the man-made visual world - it's all art. Children given a solid education in the arts are far better problem solvers than those who know nothing of the challenges of design, form, color, composition. Art can promote open-mindedness towards new ways of thinking, free people from hide-bound ideas and from the tiredness of the same old thing.  The work of Americans for the Arts (50 years old this year) is bound to be hard going in the current political climate, when ignorance and foolishness are the banners flying from too many flagpoles. Go to the website - see what Americans for the Arts is doing - and see what you can do to help. If you're an artist, check out the Artistic Rebuttal project - - add your voice. I'm working on my contribution right now.