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The Value of Art – Individual vs Humanity

ariane of smartist_value of art and humanity

A fellow artist sent me the link to this post because she knew that I’ve been chewing on the question “What is the value of art?”

What fascinates me is how this post, and the comments, focus on value through the consumer lens of an individual, potential collector or buyer asking, Why should I buy this?

Yes, I can see how artists ponder what motivates someone to purchase art (or not) from either an emotional, status, or investment perspective (the only three values offered in the post).

Yet I can’t help wondering how

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The Next 3 Lessons (of 6) from Elizabeth Warren

I am always on the look out for female role models. I don’t care if they are in the creative arts, politics or Rosie the Riveter because women who strut their stuff (quietly or wildly), speak to me.

During the presidential campaign, Ms. Warren was prominent for those of us living in Massachusetts, where it felt as if all of us had a front row seat all the time.

And, as campaigns go, hers was as grass roots as it gets and clearly organized. But what fascinated me was what happened…

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The First 3 Lessons (of 6) From Elizabeth Warren

Arguably, Elizabeth Warren would seem to be as far from the visual arts arena as you can get.

But when I find myself writing a blog post right before I wake up, in that twilight between dreaming in my sleep and rolling over into daytime consciousness, it’s hard not to listen.

The title came first (honest… I was still sleeping…) and then the beginning  of the lessons (yup, still asleep).

I began waking up after lesson #4 (I wake up slowly and groggily, takes me forever to find my way back to earth-time…), swing my feet out of bed and into sheepskin slippers (brrrr… it’s cold here in New England…), pad slowly into the office and…

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WhOAh, My Peeps, You Did it!

YOU are unbelievable!

In less than 24 hours, over 250 of you stopped what you were doing, read my “Help” email, then jumped right in and voted for smARTist!

For those who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, it’s the Chase Small Business grant contest.

I only stumbled across this a couple of days before the deadline (tomorrow!) and the two basic requirements were 1) filling out the application, and 2) having your community vote for you.

Honestly, I didn’t have a moment during the day to do a darn thing about it. The application had penetrating questions I knew would take me a while to nail, so a huge part of me just let the opportunity go.

Only, another part of me (goodness, how many are there anyway ;-)…

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Are You Hiding Behind The Beauty? (Great Art, Part 2):






There’s a lot that comes with being an artist to stoke the ego fires:

  • Admiration
  • The ultimate badge of specialness
  • Cascading down the river of Creativity Flow
  • Rampant self-expression
  • The delight of watching what’s around the corner coming toward you (or you toward it)
  • An unbridled sense of a purpose-driven life
  • Merging with forces that are bigger than the ego (a bit of irony, that one)
  • The ability to create beauty (as in “the eye of the beholder”)

Only, before I continue, a couple of clarifications… 

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What happens between finishing one body of art work and starting another?

Have you even noticed this part of your creative process? How you actually make choices?

And how these choices impact your identity as an artist?

Those were the questions at the heart of our last “Blue Stocking Art Salon” conversation and I’ve pulled out some salient excerpts to get your intellectual juices flowing…

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Blue Stockings, Uppity Women, and Art

"Saint Dancing" by Lori Wolfson

When artist Lori Wolfson and I began talking, oh some six or more years ago, we found ourselves quickly traipsing through a tangled underbrush of ideas that sent adrenalin spinning in our veins.

We might start, as women often do, with an update on our romantic relationships, or the latest challenge in our personal lives.

But we never actually landed in that domestic territory. Instead, something one of us would say would immediately cause us both to…

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