Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Educate Your Viewers. A Public Service Announcement.

A few thoughts on what the Milwaukee art scene needs most, taken from a separate conversation about whether Milwaukee has an "aura of art" or actually is a thriving art community and what needs to happen to change that.
I think each artist needs to work on informing the general public on their work, reading into it, and trusting their own opinion...too many gallery visitors feel totally uncomfortable around art and no number of "art place" awards is going to change that. If people feel stupid in a gallery setting, they will avoid it. I think we (artists and art-critics) really need to work at explaining work, informing the public on how to read artwork, and engaging the public on a personal level...if you get people comfortable with art, you don't need to give them a different excuse to attend an event and, then, maybe the conversation can actually move to the artwork instead of just being next to it.
And by comfortable I don't simply mean that they like art,...I mean, to some degree, art-educated, so that the community could engage in a show, understand it and form opinions without being spoon-fed the work. We will never have a truly flourishing art-community if 99% of the visitors can't connect without a written statement, an exact description of the piece, it's meaning, and an artist bio...the viewing community needs to be able to stand on their own, and, I think, it's largely the job of the artist and art-critic to get the public to that point or, at the very least, get them started...

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