At this beginning of the Spring 2018 semester, we choose to cast our gaze into the distant past and look at our ancestors struggling to establish a better way of life in the New World! It is a choice that we make to pause from the pace and pressures of contemporary 21st century life and look back on the struggles of those who came before us. Our gaze is focused on our ancestor’s desire to leave something of themselves for us to consider through the creative activities of making Art objects. Citizens of 21st century American acknowledge the role Art has made in life but do not generally give widespread national credence to the role or importance of Art in shaping our presence. Andy Warhol famously said “People in America think Art is a person’s first name!” The American artist John Sloan, an early 20th century New York realist painter (member of the Ashcan School) made the following observation of the role of he American artist in colonial/frontier life: “The American Artist—the unwanted cockroach in the kitchen of a frontier society.”
What are our thoughts of our colonial/frontier ancestors who chose a pathway of Art making? How do you see Art defining or playing a role in your daily life as we wind down the second decade of the 21st century?
The Freake-Gibbs Limner, Portrait of Robert Gibbs