Friday, December 01, 2006

Art in the home--science in the back yard...We have created a a society in which important tasks have become isolated and separated from society at large. So what is the function of art in American life? I spent the weekend selling my small boxes and books at the Fall Art Show in Eureka Springs. It is amazing how many skilled and talented artists were there. I am always amazed at the variety and quality of work produced by my neighbors.

Few artists really did well at the show.

We could place blame on the economy, on gas prices or on the lack of sensitivity in the buying public, but I am inclined to call into question our separation of the concept "art" from the context of daily life. Art has become what we hang on walls to decorate our homes, to display our sophisticated tastes, or even our wealth. Let's take time to imagine something different: Suppose that instead of art and not art, every human function and act of creativity could be an expression of the highest standards-- our world would be distinctly different. A tool as simple as a spoon would become an object of reverance and contemplation and the objects within our homes would be full of heart-felt understanding and express the highest levels of meaningful relationship.

Economists talk about the opportunity costs of the economic decisions we make. I would like to suggest the "opportunity costs" involved in the objects we choose to fill our lives. We choose cheap stuff, bought at bargain prices with hidden costs we choose not to imagine...enslavement of children, destruction of the environment, wasteful use of the earth's resources and the constant flow of meaningless objects through our lives to disposal in the toxic landfills that mar the American landscape and poison our waters.

It is a shame that people don't spend their black Fridays in art shows, selecting for their lives and the lives of those they wish to love, objects that reflect our highest aspirations. The box above is one of my small boxes being readied for shipment to Appalachian Spring Galleries in Washington, DC.

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