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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm Back From Nashville

I got back yesterday but had to take a day to recover.  Four straight days of eight hour classes tends to make me sore in places that I didn't even know I could get sore--especially just sitting there!  And, oh, that drive home...

Now, let's talk about craft and art...
I was recently told that jewelry design and construction is not art but rather that it is a craft.  That stung a bit because it was said by a musician who clearly believes that his work is indeed within the realm of art.  His wife is undeniably an artist though some of her work could technically fall into some of the categories that "artists" like to downplay as "craft".  So, all of that got me thinking about what I think defines the two or whether I even think there is a difference.

When I think of the term "craft", I immediately think of the type of work that children do at pre-school or kindergarten class--not their delightful paintings but rather the types of guided tasks that they must follow such as gluing macaroni noodles to cardboard shapes.  I think of the tasks where they must follow directions and aren't really given much room for personal creativity.  Maybe the following directions and lack of personal creativity are at the crux of it.  Craft kits with rigid instructions come to mind when I visualize "craft".  I have a feeling that some of those children really wanted to be allowed to show their own creative bent and grew up to be the artists who have glued tiny beads or even candies to form amazing portraits, etc. that when viewed from a distance appear to be paintings.
http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2011/10/the_best_in_candy-made_art_--.php

The broad term "art" (in my mind) seems to encompass so many incredibly varied forms.  I think musicians, composers, quilters & others who work in fiber, those who work in glass, metalsmiths, leatherworkers, beaders, authors, poets, chefs, architects, potters, fashion designers, dancers, and a list of others too long to list really should be considered artists along with those more readily accepted as artists such as painters and sculptors.  I do not agree with a commonly held belief that functional works cannot be art nor do I believe that art must come from someone who held that ability innately or one who had to be trained.  I think that artists come by their abilities in a variety of ways and that his/her individual path is important only in that it has helped form that individual's artistic sensibilities and the direction that his/her artform takes.

Now that you know how I feel, what do you think?

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