Friday, May 04, 2007

This is the beginning of the May Festival of the Arts in Eureka Springs. We have more artists per capita than most cities, and a reader's poll in American Style magazine named Eureka Springs "18th Small City in America" among the "top 25 Arts Destinations." We were actually competing against much larger cities. With Santa Fe, population 93,000 claiming the top spot you can see that our small city of 2,500 did quite well.

There is merit in repetition. By repeating ourselves we refine what we do. By repeating ourselves we refine what we say, and if you will allow me the luxury of repeating myself, I consider the concept "art" to be the shame of our culture, and yet within "art" is the potential of our redemption. Please listen again and help me with this if you think I could express it more clearly. In Bali they have no art. Here we have the concept "art" because we need terminology through which to distinguish the carelessly made objects devoid of human feeling or emotion from those decorative objects made with feeling and emotion that we buy as luxury items to convey an impression of greater sophistication.

The important thing about art is that most people make it for most of the right reasons. We create because it is encoded in the character of every human being. If there were an instruction book for the successful operation of a human being, it would state:

Needs water, food, tools and materials in order to maintain mental and physical state of health.

The sad thing about art is that it has been pushed into a corner. Instead of everything being art, we see it as painting, sculpture, and other objects with very little basic utility, and having primarily decorative use. With the full blown, hands down application of the Wisdom of the hands, we can change all that. What if everything that came to life, delivered by our caring and courageous touch was "art?" As in Bali, It could happen again.

You might enjoy looking at spoons by Norm Sartorius. He sells them as "sculpture" in order that others might come to an understanding of what he invests in their value. Some of his spoons are shown in the photo above.

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