Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ART (home) SICK

I have lived in St. Petersburg, Florida for sixteen years now. I can’t even believe that. Time truly does fly! I consider St. Pete my home. I love it here. I will die here. I have said I will NEVER go back to Detroit. Well, now I understand the phrase “Never say never.” I got a promo a few weeks ago for a party scheduled to be held this week at the Detroit Institute of Arts. I knew for sure bunches of people from my past would be there. I wanted to go! WHAT?? Sheree go back up to Detroit??? No!
I thought about it. I thought about the cost. I thought about the feasibility? I thought it would be too impulsive. I didn’t go. I don’t regret that decision. I can live with it. However, I am sitting here right now realizing I am so homesick. No, not home town homesick. I am “ART HOME” homesick.
I have never connected with the Florida art scene. I have tried. I have done the work, invited people to my studio, I have spread myself all over the web, NOTHING happens. When I was in Detroit, there was a community. There was always something going on. There were things to do art wise. I miss that so much.
I was almost over this homesick feeling and then today, I got an email from my BFF Gilda (the famous artist). She has a spread in the Metro Times, a Detroit area publication. She send me the link to the article. When I saw the first picture of her in her studio, I melted. I miss her so much. The flood of DEE-troit feelings came back again. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…….maybe someday I will go back just to give this BFF artist a big, giant hug!

Gilda Snowden, Artist Extraordinaire!

Click to see "Motor City Cribs" article.


Zoey said...

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Ever wonder why that is? It all in the point of view. Being an observant artist, you've already recognized that looking straight down on a blade of grass allows one to see the dirt the all grass grows in. The angle of view of the grass over there conceals the gray-brown dirt. The distant scene is all green grass.
Neither Gilda nor any other real Detroit artist I know of is able to support themselves in even a meager manner solely upon the sale of their artwork. They all have day jobs. Of course, I agree with you that sales is not the measure of success. And, yes, there is a vibrant artist community but there's no support for it. The government, city or state doesn't subsidize it. The museums, DIA or MOCAD, don't validate or expose it. The media, print or TV, declares it non-existent. The public doesn't buy it. It has been long known that if an artist has any ambitions of stardom, they must leave Detroit.
Maybe St. Petersburg isn't the best choice for that but at least it's warm.

Sheree Rensel said...

Zoey, I totally agree with everything you said. HOWEVER, I never mentioned sales or money in this post. Shhhheeeit!! I sold art in Detroit, but I also kept five jobs at a time!! I think the "self supporting" artist idea is a myth except for that artist in the upper echelons. Yes, yes, yes, I did an informal survey this year asking artists about their self supporting lives. I got few responses. However, those that did respond were full of it. They said they were "self supporting". However upon doing research, I found they either had a spouse paying the mortgage, an inheritance, or they lived below the poverty line. A-HUH.... Also, I wasn't thinking Detroit is the art Mecca. I don't know where (any place) that art is truly supported. If you know if such a place, please let me know, I will move there! In this post, I was trying to point out the loss of art "community". I think this has a lot to do with the fact St. Pete is a little place. Detroit is BIG. Consequently, the art community in Detroit has variety and options. It didn't matter if the arts weren't supported to the degree they should be. Detroit had such a myriad of art events, venues, and artists; you just couldn't help but have something to do. St. Pete isn't like that. That was my point.