Art as hamburger

January 8, 2011

I was reading the NY Times book supplement. An author in one of the articles made a negative remark about writing courses. And it hit a note. I know that both in the U.S. and Canada there are a lot of artists (writers, poets, painters, sculptors, etc) who have found employment in universities and colleges. I can’t blame them. Everyone wants to have a secure base of employment. We all have to pay bills, rent etc. And everyone wants more time to work at their craft. But I think that is why the arts are so marginalized in North America. Artists are removed from the street. They are sanitized from the day to day grind of life. (They don’t call them ‘ivory towers’ for nothing.) And the writing/art courses turn art from a social function to an economic one. How to produce for a market of consumers.  I don’t expect too many writers/artists who are employed by educational institutions will agree with this assessment. They believe that they have the freedom to speak their mind. Try writing a scathing novel, or a series of art pieces slamming a corporation that helps fund the school they work for. Schools want nice. They don’t mind navel gazing. But don’t take attitude into the market place.

10 Responses to “Art as hamburger”

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