We are definitely living in high stress times. And we are more polarized than we have ever been. It’s really distressing to see so many connections being shattered. It’s making me desperately cast about for anything, any little thing at all, that can be labeled a force for unity.
And then I thought: Art. Hold on. I know what you’re about to say. Art can be controversial. And there’s a debate over whether things can be considered art or not or whether they require historical context and education to be displayed. And there’s also an ongoing debate over whether art should be federally funded. I get all that.
But I would argue that all those issues are ancillary to the fact that art exists in every culture, one way or another. Culturally, we all feel the need to express ourselves. We want to put a mark on this earth. We want to add beauty to the world.
I think that creative streak is the thing I love most about humanity. If we lived in dull, grey, blocky, uninspiring spaces, if we had no ability to be unique in any way, this world would be a dull and lifeless place. It is a delight to go somewhere I’ve never been and see unexpected murals or sculptures or whimsical fountains. It is one of the primary reasons I love to travel.
So, yeah. Art can be controversial, but it exists in one form or another within all of us. It may be different from country to country or from artist to artist. Some things might be more my cup of tea than the next person’s.
But the fact that art exists is the thing. So I’ll cling to it for now, for some much-needed sanity, and if you are on Facebook, I encourage you to join my Public Art Lovers Group.
I’ll leave you with some public art from around the world that I received from Pokemon Go friends. Enjoy!
The ultimate form of recycling: Buy my book, read it, and then donate it to your local public library or your neighborhood little free library! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5