In the midst of all of the heaviness of news in the world, it’s easy to wonder whether the world still needs the arts. One of the first business closings in Chicago that I heard about was an historic dance company. Of course, there are many others and the list keeps growing, but it just shows how delicate of a balance it is for so many businesses to stay open. So what about art? Do we need art?
We do. There is value in owning an original painting, drawing or print, seeing its texture and the nuances that are oftentimes lost in reproductions. For instance, I own several works of art by other artists that are oil/acrylic paint on canvas, and I can feel the texture with my fingertips and see how the varnish catches light to play up those textures. And if I turn over the paintings, I can see the artists’ inscriptions on the backsides. I can smell the faint scent of varnish. The art is “real” to me. There is nothing like it, and knowing I own the original, touched by the hands of the artist.
So we will always need the arts. Live performance dance is so much more engaging than video recordings. Original art is so much more engaging than reproductions. This is why people buy tickets to a ballet or spend a day in a museum — to engage with the art in a way they can’t from behind their mobile devices.
My business is still open. I work my business every day. I still believe in the value of adding my own brand of beauty to the world, of creating art that is unique, uplifting, dimensional and original. I still plan to launch my next collection on Earth Day, April 22nd. I hope you'll join me. You can receive notifications by subscribing to my email newsletter.
Wow. Did you see it coming? COVID-19. I didn't. Life went from relatively routine and normal to downright bizarre in a matter of about a week here in America. I think most of us took the beginning days with a grain of salt, thinking the story was overblown or that our lives would not be affected very much. In America, we don't shut down. We are a nation of workaholics, many of whom never miss a day of work. We call in sick to work. And that's the problem.
I am a full time artist working from home, and so in some ways my daily routine has not changed much. But last week and now this week, little by little, the events that I had planned for my business have all been cancelled for April and May. I was to attend Glasgow Middle School in rural Kentucky as the school art program's Visiting Teacher for 2020 in April, and had signed up as an artisan vendor at the Wilder Mansion's Art in the Park in Elmhurst, IL in May. I counted on these events to generate income. But I also really looked forward to them! What an honor to be chosen as a school's Artist of the Year/Visiting Artist, and to be able to sell my paintings and my custom silk blend scarves at a professional, local event.
But if there is one thing to keep in mind through all of this, it's that people are resilient. We've survived stock market crashes, housing market crashes, terrorist attacks, wars, devastating storms.
I live just outside of Chicago, IL. Winters here are looooong, dark, painfully cold and brutal. Sometimes I wonder how anything survives. But you know what? Every spring, the land thaws and the flowers bloom. Every spring. Even after the Polar Vortex of 2019, the crocus and snowdrops appeared in March, as they do every spring.
We will get through this. I'm not even thinking that life will go back to the way it was pre-COVID-19. I know people who have been furloughed or lost their jobs entirely. But we will get past it. There will be sunny days ahead, and the flowers will bloom again.