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Monday, May 26, 2008

Sharing Our Talents

Hi Fellow Artists,

A recent Blog by FearlessArtist, Weird Attitudes at the Art Fair, made me realize how often we forget that one of the biggest reasons God gave us this talent to create art, whether good or bad, comes with an obligation to teach others what we know. It is easy to sit back and enjoy this gift we have, but part of our enjoyment is not only sharing our ideas, techniques and finished products with the world through exhibitions and displays, but also by mentoring others to also take their place in the galleries and museums of the world. Those of you who throw clay, paint pictures, photograph nature, write novels, and sing or dance know that you have something special that doesn’t just belong to you; it is intended to be shared with the world.

Every city, town and community has a place for the arts. We also have a special role to play within these arts communities. How we support organizations that promote the arts says a lot about who we are as artists. Of course most of us are looking for places to show off our talent because we hope that multitudes of art lovers will not only appreciate what we do but also buy an admission ticket to our performance, buy a piece of art or two, or buy our book. It is all part of the art work experience. Many of us are hoping to get some reward for our talents; if for no other reason than perhaps to pay off the cost of our education, all those materials and supplies, marketing expenses, and even telephone bills. Sharing is also as big a part of our art as selling ourselves and our products.

I would bet that each and every one of us knows of at least one community arts organization that is looking for talented artists to help teach a class, share ideas on their Board, donate art for an auction, stuff envelopes, paint props for a recital, sing and dance in a production, design posters, submit articles to their monthly newsletter, participate in book signings, and hang paintings for an exhibition. The list goes on and on. Many of the roles you might play may have a distant relationship to your special talent. Yet, each of these volunteer tasks directly supports the arts where you live and work.

If you run into an artist who is reluctant to share his/her talent, refuses to allow you to photograph their work, won’t take the time to explain how they work, declines to show you an unusual dance step, or isn’t interested in giving you a few pointers on how to begin writing a book – aren’t you surprised and hurt? Ask yourself if this is the kind of artist you want to be? How are you perceived by your community? After all, this is where you hope to find buyers for your work. Are you an artist who gives back or just takes?



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