View Full Version : An Appreciation for the Arts

08-18-2010, 08:16 AM
Greetings guys

Years ago my wife was studying at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She was sketching a complex ceiling structure at the University of Toronto when she was approached by some university students her own age that asked her what she was doing. After she explained that she was sketching the vaulted ceiling overhead as part of a course requirement, they flippantly responded with: "so all you do is draw all day". At the time, I was working through my Master's Degree, and when I compared her workload to that of my own, her workload easily exceeded mine. This quick comment in passing is so indicative of how the arts are currently perceived in our society. Simply put, the arts are under appreciated, and artists from all genres are treated like children that need to grow up.

Recent Federal budgetary cuts have been severely detrimental to the experience of Canadian art and culture for everyone. We need to begin collectively asking ourselves why it is that the Canadian Government continues to undervalue and trivialize the arts? The Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, even has gone so far as to blatantly state that "art is for the elite". If that were true, according to his funding models, he'd most certainly be supporting the arts like he does businesses and those in the sports sectors...with numerous financial incentives and stimulus packages. Where is even the faintest trace of balance and equity? The artist continues to be underfunded and overlooked in Canada because there is an overall perception that the arts are unimportant to the growth and development of our society?

From my vantage point, the arts encourage us to see perspectives beyond our own, and they nourishes us. Support your local artists and challenge yourself to expand your own horizons. If you are so inclined, and want to take it even a step further, consider letting your elected representatives know why the arts are important to you and your Canadian identity.


peter anthony PHOTOGRAPHY - Home (http://www.peteranthonyphotography.com)

08-18-2010, 09:37 AM
I'm not sure I see the direct comparison between funding sports teams/ business versus funding individual artists or the Arts....One stimulates the Economy, the other stimulates individual artists with grants or stimulates people's minds with art.
Both are important to me, but you are comparing apples to oranges. I'd say the Economy is important to 99% of people, the same cannot be said of Art imo.

But I definitely agree that the Arts in general are important and under-appreciated.

Hard to be poet, fine art painter, fine art photographer these days.

What exactly was cut?

08-18-2010, 12:35 PM
I agree that it is hard to make a living as an artist in any of the fine arts, including poet or writer, actor, dancer or musician. It is hard to find work in those fields that actually pays much in proportion to the amount of work put into it. Then again, art is highly subjective and how well you do is largely dependent on how well you can promote yourself.

I know that during Ralph Klein's day, he pretty much said government should not be paying for educations that don't lead to a job. Stephen Harper is certainly cut from the ilk. Yet living in Calgary, I have to say, the city itself and definitely big business are big supporters of the arts. Even so, it is a rare artist that can support himself solely with his art. When I walk into The Camera Store, for instance, everyone of those salepersons is an excellent and knowledgeable photographer in their own right and yet there they are schlepping cameras on the side. :)

As an artist of any sort, it is hard to put yourself out there in front of a barrage of criticism, which you will get in spades talent and creativity notwithstanding and some with a degree in the arts just choose not to do it after awhile.