Monday, April 13, 2009

Art Blog: Is ART a LUXURY?

It is time for little Sheree to jump up on her soapbox!
OOOoooh, I must be at least 5’ tall now. Wow, what a view! LOL
OK, here I go opening my mouth again!

You are not going to find anyone who is a bigger champion of the arts. I will shout to the rafters and dance in the streets to praise the arts. I am a fervent arts advocate and will fight tooth and nail to defend creativity. However, I have been thinking about art and money a lot lately. I have read countless articles about arts organizations slicing budgets, museums handing pink slips to their staff, and galleries closing their doors. This makes my heart ache.

We all know times are very hard right now. The other day I was flipping through channels and I stopped to watch a news report about a county hospital in Nevada closing an outpatient cancer clinic due to budget cuts.

“Recently thousands of letters went out across Las Vegas telling cancer patients that the only public hospital in the state was closing its outpatient clinic for chemotherapy.”

The news story was nearly unbelievable. Crying patients told the reporter how there was no place to turn for help. I found myself thinking “This can’t be happening in America!” The chemotherapy provided at this clinic is a matter of life and death for these patients. Without insurance or public help, most will die. Some people were literally turned away at the door when they showed up for their chemo appointment. The story mentioned there is an alternative facility if you are very, very poor. Also if you are rich, you can find ways to pay for treatments. Most of the people being affected are the average Jane/Joe making less than $60K per year without medical insurance. In other words, people in the lower, middle class are the targets. Those interviewed told of scrambling to search for help only to be told “sorry” or “oh well…” while their life time clock was ticking loudly.
This just isn’t right.

Today the big art news story here in Florida is featured in the St. Petersburg Times. Some politicos are trying to ax the state’s art budget. The lawmakers want to end the public funding of art. I looked at the story and I wasn’t outraged or upset. I expected this.

I cannot imagine life without art. However in times like these, we all have to make sacrifices. There will always be art with or without government funding. Even so, we must realize these budget cuts are not forever. I know for sure the pendulum always swings back. Brighter times will be in our future and arts funding will flourish someday again. Of course, the current losses of any art funding is sad. However, nobody is going to die because of it. Right now, it is time to GET REAL.

Click to see detail view


JafaBrit's Art said...

I really can't blame people for not wanting buy art or allocate funding to the arts. But wow, closing down the chemo center, arg!!!!!!!!!!!!

I like your Icon piece.

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Nice piece! Love it actually :)
Yes, there is so much to say about this issue.... but truly,one can purchase art for as much as 2 cups of starbucks coffee....!

Without art, we are as robots!

Art ists Angels said...

You know I would scream to the heavens if arts funding were being cut arbitrarily. Right now, I don't believe this is the case. We all have our purses and we know what money we have. We have to spend wisely and honestly. I cannot support spending for the arts over spending for people's lives. I just can't.

Art ists Angels said...

Oh geesh. How did that "Artist Angels" title come about. I have to fix that.

Art ists Angels said...

Thank you for your feedback. However, maybe they can buy your art for 2 cups of Starbucks. I have never made art that cheap. LOL Nope. I guess I will have to go without sales. Oh well.

JafaBrit's Art said...

This is in response to Claudia Olivos.
I had one local shop owner complain people don't want to pay 1.50 for our Jafagirl postcards. I can't make them for any less ( I barely-barely make a profit) and as I told him they don't have a problem spending 2 dollars for a cup of coffee across the street or 5 dollars for a smoothie, but they balk at 1.50 for a unique postcard of Yellow Springs. He did buy a batch, and they will sell, just as the last batch did.

WEE-HOO said...

Sheree... you are so right. As Americans we got to get our priorities in line...