I would like to open the first post of the year by reviewing the most common themes discussed within contemporary culture (or blogged by me) about the arts during the period of 2011-2012. I have selected a few articles from a variety of sources that reiterate the impending challenges that artists and the arts sector are faced with, as well as recognizing accomplishments and success stories within the creative sector. Here I have depicted a chart to illustrate the most popular topics—as determined by the number of tweets.
Summary of arts-related articles read and tweeted 2011-2012
This section is comprised of articles on artists, including the promotion of particular artist or the cultural value of artists:
- Were Neanderthals Europe’s First Cave Artists?
- We need artists to solve the challenges of this century
- 62 artists, 120 works, four years in the making, 100 per cent Canadian
- Damien Hirst and Gogasian Split After 17 Years
- Ai Weiwei’s Christmas screensaver: let his Door Gods protect your home
- 10 Reasons Why Artists Should Draw More
Funding the arts has become a hot button issue and one of the major challenges that have been discussed in the past year:
- Funding cuts cripple national arts organization (CCA)
- The Arts Face Their Own Fiscal Cliff
- “The Future of Public Art Is Far from Assured”
- Arts ‘set back 15 years’ by funding cuts
- Newcastle arts cuts are disastrous, say stars of north-east
- Culture Secretary responds to criticism over arts cuts
- “Government urged to rethink ‘incredibly shortsighted’ policy amid fears about impact on schools and the creative economy”
- Museum of Latin American Art lays off chief curator, cuts budget
Creativity has become a popular topic, particularly in a time where there has been a resurgence of DIY and crafting, and so many articles have been written in this topic. I have selected a number of my favourite articles from the past year:
- Greece bailout: How the crisis fuels the arts in Athens
- Singapore wants creativity not cramming
- Creativity Blocked? Try a Common Scents Solution
- ”Recreativity and the modern dismissal of genius”
- As Children’s Freedom Has Declined, So Has Their Creativity
- The 7 Biggest Creativity Killers
- Canada’s Greatest Competitive Advantage? Our Creativity
- How Creativity Strengthens Community
- Creativity is a breeze
- How To Unlock Creativity
- Investing in Creativity report!
Generally speaking, the following articles address the debate regarding graffiti as ‘art’ and graffiti as ‘vandalism’, and question what defines something like graffiti as high art:
- Does street art show encourage graffiti?
- Graffiti: is it art or vandalism? Toronto sets up official Graffiti panel
- Arab graffiti: vandalism or art?
- Graffiti Writers and their Construct of Reality
- Heritage site graffiti will be reviewed for cultural merit– Does graffiti has a cultural merit?
Art World in Question
Debates on what is art and what should be justified as such has raised concerns for centuries, and continues to be debated in the contemporary arts scene. For example, a recent article by Roger Scruton entitled “The great swindle” illuminates how fake ideas can be played out by high culture. Furthermore, the art world is in spiritual crisis, which is argued by cultural critic and feminist provocateur Camille Paglia in her new book, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt to Star Wars. Some further examples are below:
- A sad reflection on the art world
- Why the Art World Is So Loathsome?
- What future for the arts with these Tory philistines?
NEA (National Endowment for the Arts)
The NEA has played a huge role in cultural production in the United States. The following highlights some historical moments within the NEA:
- NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman announces retirement
- Arts Involvement Narrows Student Achievement Gap
- NEA-style community-building via arts
The difficulties faced by artists have been a long-standing issue, with artists struggling with low incomes and underployment. Now, artists facing obstacles while larger cultural policies are at stake:
- Queen’s puts the brakes on new students in fine arts program
- Verging on absurd, but delay in cultural policy a mixed blessing for fatigued performing arts – Cultural policy struggles in Australia
- Interns, Unpaid by a Studio, File Suit – The creative struggles, unpaid wages
Support for the Arts
The following are a few straightforward articles that advocate supporting the arts:
- 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2012
- Italian football club sponsors Old Masters show – An idea: Using sport funds to support the Arts
- Arts leaders support grants
These articles lend some optimism and view the arts as the solution to a number of social and cultural issues:
- Queen receives gifts from 93 Royal Academy artists
- Riots spark £5m Tate arts project for the young – Tate is to spearhead arts project to help young people
- N.E.A. Grants Aim to Reach Those With Limited Access to the Arts
- Dallas Museum of Art takes bold step of offering free general admission AND free memberships
- Pedaling Art to Help Others
- Denver arts community stirs $1.76 billion in economic activity
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave comments on any of the above topics.
Till We Talk Again!