Whatever happened to craft shows?
I might still be a little too idealistic but when I first attended craft shows there were more hand made crafts by people who were attempting to express their creativity.
The organizers were just as idealistic in that they wanted to showcase the talents of craftspeople or organize shows to showcase and teach their communities.
In the last several years I have found that the organizers of shows are much more concerned with stuffing the show area with booths, (not necessarily craftspeople).
Even the "juried shows" are not true to form but will prostitute themselves for extra booths. I know first hand that it happens at E.S.C.A. juried shows and at L.A.R.A.C juried shows and many, many shows in between.
Good or bad? At this time I can still make money at any show I attend but I'm concerned about the public and their perception of crafts and art.
I'm concerned about the future and where art and craft will be in that future. I'm concerned that the market is too small when it could be very big, if the public were informed properly.
There are too many craftsy stores, selling too many craftsy ideas and then intermingling their word craft with our perception of craft.
My definition of craft is, "one who creates from a special skill". The dictionary says "art, skill; also: an occupation requiring a special skill".
"Craftsman: a skilled artisan".
Has anyone ever called you crafty? As in "your such a crafty person", want to hear the definition of crafty?
"Crafty: cunning, deceitful, subtle".
Now, is someone who buys a kit and takes the work to a craft show, are they crafty? How would the public know because they are supposedly at a craft show. It should be called a crafty show, a show of cunning, deceitful work by subtle people.
Hey, tell it like it is, I'm tired of the intermingling of words and work. Some of us have given up too much to master and understand our crafts to have it be not respected in such subtle ways.
It will eventually cripple the understanding of craft work, accomplished by true artisans.
The public is so conditioned to understanding things in simplified language, sound bites, they are so conditioned to seeing things roll off the assembly line punched out by machines. They no longer remember that it took skilled artisans to make the machines, it took artisans to come up with the ideas behind the machines. We are a nation so ready to enjoy the fruits of machine labor we have forgotten how to get there without them. We have forgotten the roots of our civilization and how we grew to where we are.
It is because of skilled artisans, and craftspeople and it is important that the public understand this. It is important because of the richness to life hand made crafts brings. It is the richness to a families heritage that they own a fine hand crafted belonging passed down through the generations.
There is so much pure junk to buy, that if people could only abstain from five pieces of junk to buy one fine hand crafted object how much richer their lives could be, and in turn the civilization as a whole. Not to mention how many less objects there would be to collect dust.
Do you live in a town that begins to teach art education at the grade school level? Is your town one that has developed a "well considered plan" that includes preserving aesthetic beauty and requires such to be included in new subdivisions? You are fortunate.
Many towns in our area do not have plans or proper art education. Taxpayer groups have consistently opposed art programs, calling them needless. Not understanding the roll art plays in our lives and in the history of our ancestors.
Many towns in our region have local grass rooted groups that are looking to stop development or preserve what is left of their heritage. It is time that these groups banded together in a regional grass roots solidarity.
Many times a small local force will be stopped or delayed by small town government or at the country level. If county wide or regional wide support was thrown behind each group imagine the impact!
If local groups had a network and could notify each other of impending meetings that were important to one another extra people could attend by car pooling, with all those warm bodies there could be a major difference in many local issues.
I truly believe it is the responsibility of the arts to initiate aesthetic change in this region. No one else will do it.
This region of northern New York is linked economically and sociologically, what affects one town will inevitably affect all the towns.
We should all be eating our art together.
Our region is a wilderness of beauty that in the next century could be very rare or be a magnet for development. We much eat our art together and form a commitment for regional digestion. Dali once said "beauty will always be edible, or there will be no such thing as beauty."
I'm Letting Loose and I will devour the art I want to eat. I want to experience beauty by eating it. I have to digest it so it will nurture and help to create of me a better person, tuned into the needs of this world and fellow people.
The history of the world is written with art.
I recognize that through the centuries the history of the world has been the development of our collective consciousness. I believe we make great strides in our own personal development and consciousness when we appreciate the beauty around us. We can open up our consciousness even more when we begin to understand how beauty and art can open us up.
The history of the world proves that art and craft are very important common denominators between civilizations. The history of the world shows that a conquering country in order to take the soul of a nation will steal (eat) it's art.
So I've had my say this time around. I plan to stay around for awhile and do some more typing when I feel like it. This observation letter will circulate to the regions arts councils and quite a few artists and craftspeople. I don't necessarily want to stay unknown but I think for the purposes of the creativity of the letter I must. So I am,
Oliver Day Night