I had the opportunity to ask a bona fide artist the very questions posed in the opening paragraph. Jeffrey Babine, a talented local artist, holds an MFA, contributes to local art shows, judges area art exhibitions and serves on the board of DCCAH ----so he knows a speck or two about art, right? In a very illuminating conversation, Jeffrey Babine stated that art matters because it is a commentary about the society that we live in. Artists are communicating their thoughts and feelings---we don’t all think in words sometimes we think in pictures and symbols.
Art is a way to communicate complex ideas visually. The artist wants to communicate with each person that views his/her work...certainly not just wealthy people. It isn’t only wealthy people who make up our society--it is all of us. It is perfectly alright to like pictures that please your eye. You don’t have to like spots or blotches, drips or drags in order to like art. There is plenty of variety out there so go with what draws your eye and mind.
As I said, I found my conversation with Jeffrey Babine illuminating. One thing in particular that I came away with was that not only should we all be involved with art but that if it wasn’t for the viewer there would be no art! The artist is trying to communicate...but you, the viewer, are the needle in the record player that makes the vinyl sing. The artist is trying to get a point across but because he is communicating in pictures and symbols he/she can’t be absolutely sure his exact meaning (if he/she has one) is getting made. He hopes for you to come along and say “Yes! I get that!” Not only that but a savvy artist knows that we all view through our own lense of perception so that when we view art we add our own meaning too...in a way we contribute to each work of art. This is why art matters. It is about you and for you; you help make it.
The next art exhibit at the Ann Rudd Art Center begins April 23rd with the reception starting at 6:00 p.m. This will be the Back to Nature show--all art is nature themed or nature resourced. Hope I see you there...completing the masterpieces.