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Re: What to Expect from Art



After 40 years in the visual and writing arts, and after founding and
administering more than one nonprofit literary organization, after
consorting with hundreds of artists and writers all these years, I
think I can truly say that the only thing that matters is doing the
work (It took me 20 years to realize this).  Time will make the
decisions about what is "real" art (and time has been known to be
wrong; the definitions of great art and bad art change through the
centuries).

The work is what gives the deep joy---taking an emotion or impulse
and shaping it into a poem or painting or artist's book, looking at
art and reading literature, solving problems, learning what the
masters did by emulating them --- that's the process that gives joy.
 All the rest--awards, grants, great teaching jobs--is icing on the
cake.  I tell my poetry and visual art students that they are lucky--
they won't have to worry about money through their work--there
rarely will be any financial benefits for them; they are free to work
at other jobs and free to develop their art without the constraints of
economics.

This is not to say that I sometimes wish I had "made it" in a big
way; I would be lying if I didn't admit that.  But, when I go into my
studio to work on a new visual art piece or sit down to work on a
new poem, when I'm solving a design problem, deciding what word
is the very best word in a line, the rest is just dross.

That said, this is a most wonderful forum, and I thank Peter for
administering the site; these discussions are enormously helpful,
forcing us to think about what we're about.

Bertha Rogers

-----------------
Date sent:              Thu, 8 Mar 2001 23:17:14 -0800
Send reply to:          "Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.philobiblon.com"              <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
From:                   Suzanne Denker <sdenker2@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject:                Re: What to Expect from Art
To:                     BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU

> _______________
> In a message dated 3/8/01 5:16:34 AM, verheyen@PHILOBIBLON.COM wrote:
>
> >So, how does one fight against it?
> ________________
>
> Well, things like this list are a part, I suspect:
> connecting with one another, thinking and talking about what is important in
> defining value, giving attention and appreciation to everyone who has
> something to express, answering one another's questions, making room for
> beginners while acknowledging experience.  Making a community that develops
> some self-definition and, as part of that definition, includes recognizing
> good work for its own sake, and not just "market value".
>
> If artists themselves keep paying attention to good work done by others--and
> not just already-recognized others--maybe that can help train the eyes of
> those outside the field to look further than the Small Circle of the Big
> Names.  (not that those names haven't done good work, just that they're not
> the only ones...)
>
> a thought,
> Suzanne Denker
> _________________________________________________________________
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