Art and Responsibility

Since my blog is about art, it is difficult to make the decision to write about current events, however current events can shape us and reflect in our art.

When I look through fine art publications, I notice a lot of violent imagery. Of course this is true across the board…music videos, games, some TV shows. This is nothing new, right? Does it affect us? Many studies have been done on the subject and the majority say yes, it does affect us.

The recent events of Michael Brewer being burned by teens, and the gang rape by teens shook me to the core. I am not oblivious to all the wrongs that happen in this world, but I am terribly saddened by the constant march to moral decay that seems to be happening all around us.

In the realm of arts and creativity, subject matter is the meat and potatoes. Personal expression in the form of violent subject matter can be effective in allowing the creator to get out feelings that have been bottled up. This is not the same thing as violent imagery being packaged up/designed and marketed for profit. I believe this is very harmful to us as civil humans and is confusing to young adults who may not have any mentors or care in their home.

In the last several years in my area where I live, public schools have eliminated or diminished art, physical education and music from their curriculum. I think this is a death sentence for many youth. First off, children need to be active and act out in healthy ways. Actually this is true for adults as well.

The arts can heal… If more young people were encouraged to express themselves through art making, writing, dance, photography, music… I believe that their would be a lessening of this horrific violence that seems to be on the rise.

In addition, if more artists who make money from their art took more responsibility for the messages they are sending, or break away from big business and become independent, I think we would also see some changes. Some would argue the free speech clause, but I argue, with freedom comes responsibility.

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