Community is essential for artists. Not just for your well-being, but for the well-being of your art.
In this episode, Michael Keen and I talk about his background with artists’ communities and the value of community. In particular, community can provide:
– Constructive feedback
As you’ll hear, other things came up.
As a student of art history, I love reading about communities of artists that evolved organically over the centuries. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the Cedar Tavern in the 1940s and 50s!
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the Cedar Tavern in the 1940s and 50s!
I believe that an artist’s work is better when there are other artists around to question, critique, challenge, and, yes, to praise.
Artists’ communities are all around. Among other spots, you’ll find artists’ communities in:
- Coffee shops and bars
- Classes and workshops
- Conferences and events
- Online (pick your favorite spot)
- Studio spaces
- Creative workspaces
Search for a group where you feel at home and nestle in. If you come up empty, you can always start your own.
The Value of Community
There are at least 5 key reasons to seek out and become an active part of an artists’ community.
Living the life as an artist is hard enough, but it’s made harder when those we’re close to don’t support us.
We need people around us who can support us emotionally – people who believe in our message to the world. It really stinks when friends and family don’t believe in our goals.
Have you lost friendships because people couldn’t support your life as an artist?
Before I get to my top tweets from the past couple of weeks, I have something on my mind. . . . Nineteen years ago I was living in Oklahoma City when our museum doors blew open and we simultaneously heard an explosion. The days that followed are both unforgettable and seem like a lifetime ago. I hope we never forget that senseless attack on innocent people or the, sadly, additional ones we hear about every day.
Artists have to be the servant to society. – Marina Abramovic. Discuss.
Artists are what defines any arts agency, be it an arts council, commission, or board. Artists are the reason you exist. Artists can be your best advocates or your biggest critics. To ensure the artists are on your side . . .
Do you think your municipal, county, and state art agencies (councils, commissions) do enough to support local artists? What more could they be doing?
When we think about creating, we usually consider it to be a one-way conversation: the creator speaks, writes, paints, sculpts, dances, etc. and we listen, read, or view. But as a former museum educator, I have always believed that the viewer (or consumer) completes every work of art. Each person who views and shares an artwork adds a new layer of meaning to that work. You, as the artist, can decide whether or not the interpretations are valid, but once you put your art out in the world, you have relinquished total control over it.
Just like a blog, your art is the start of a conversation. If you had only an audience, you would talk at the audience, they would listen, and then they would go home. Picture an audience. Everyone is facing one way. They don’t see