Reaching Higher

I’ve written about artists being on a world stage in previous columns and now that we approach the end of another year, I would like to expand a bit on this. The idea of creating world art needs to be let out of the closet and exposed for all to understand. Too many of us think we are small, regional artists. We are satisfied working within our little communities which are willing to show our work. We don’t reach out to a bigger audience. We don’t even think about reaching a larger audience. We have stopped thinking about work for a mass audience; a world audience. Artists need to see themselves with a larger voice and with something to say. Not just be content with making pictures for the shows in our regional town. When we create anything, it should be with the idea and thought that the world may see it; a world beyond the local communities.

That the ideas we create are universal ones and the quality we imbue in the work should be worthy of universal notice.

Artists today are beat down by the lack of respect we should receive and begin to think maybe we are not worthy of doing this thing called — making art. It may not be said to our faces, but we are told that making art is a substandard profession. We are told that making art isn’t a real job. We are forced to take menial work to exist and pay our bills. We are subverted into creating work “that sells” in order to even show our work; real art, art with a purpose; art that pushes limits, in most cases, won’t even see the light of day, or even find a gallery that will display it. Many of us can’t find any venues willing to display these works. The public is looking for art to match their sofas or fill empty wall space with innocuous images that serve no purpose. The work has no meaning for the buyer, it’s just pretty. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with pretty, but pretty alone is nothing without substance.

We must never see our efforts as small or regional. We need to listen to our inner voices and shut out all the negativity that surrounds us telling us we are not doing valuable work for humanity; for future generations to appreciate.

We must strive to be artists for all; artists for the world.

And we must always strive and make goals for ourselves that we know we may never reach. Our time here must be to push our limits if we are to believe we are true artists. The only rival we should fight against is mediocrity, complacency. We should never settle for “just so” work or work that gets us by to fit in or for that matter only reaches high enough for a slap on the back. Artists are better than that. Create work worthy of world attention.

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