This is usually the time that my husband, roadie and employee of the year says “Uh oh!”
A few weeks ago I attended a work session/dinner put on by our local art’s organization. We were asked several questions about arts in our community and the results of our discussion would be used to create a performance to be presented at the upcoming Rural Arts and Culture Summit in June. Liked the idea… but since then have been kicking around some of the discussion topics in my head.
|April 2015 Firing|
The one foremost in my thoughts is the question “Do I feel my community values artists?” Since my community markets itself as an art destination and community, this was an interesting perspective. I think those involved in art organizations and economic development for the most part said they felt artists were valued. However, it seemed most of the artists in the gathering didn’t feel as valued. And I was right along side them in that feeling.
|New striped design – will need to include more in next firing|
Over the next few days follow the dinner, I thought about this question frequently. Why the divide between how these groups viewed artist’s value? How can that divide be reduced? But over time, I got to questioning why we think we should be valued? I get we all want to be valued for what we do, but should artists be valued more than other community segments?
|cups and saucers|
I mean…do the local plumbers or electricians (or massage therapists, restaurant chefs… any profession) get together over coffee and discuss how they don’t feel valued by the community. It’s hard to differentiate between our value and the value of the things we do/create… but I’m talking about our value as an artists, not the value of my art. I love running water, sewer that flows properly, and power to run all my devices as much as the next person, but is the person who makes that happen valued more than other professions in my community. Not really and I don’t think they get together to discuss it either.
|Yellow Salt glaze is so interesting – always looks a little different than the before|
|Gotta love the orange peel effect on this bottle|
So ultimately, what is this need for a perceived community value about? Being an active, productive member of any community is a value, regardless if you’re an artist or plumber. I think your value is based on what you give to the community, not what you choose to do for a living. But I’m sure this will continue to be something I think about for quite a while.
Figured I’d sneak some photos from my last firing in the mix to keep you reading. Nobody likes a post with just words. We all need a little eye candy to keep us going forward. Have a great summer.
And there is always something in each firing that just doesn’t work at all. Here is a example.
|Grinder time – this mug is stuck to the shelf|