Life is about much more than politics, business and consumption. Our Valley is blessed with vital and energetic arts organizations that provide public programs to young and old alike. But that’s not all; within our community is a thriving collection of visual artists, performers, writers and photographers, all adding their energy and vision to the richness of our life here.
The role of art in life is vast, and the contribution it makes to society is enormous. Setting aside the “business” of art, that peculiar world in which money dominates all else and paintings by the famous sell at auction for multi-millions, the arts offer each of us the opportunity to participate in the creative act. An unmistakable quality of art is that it fulfills its purpose only with the participation of the viewer.
Whether it’s representative or abstract, soothing or disturbing, soft or loud, art affects each of us in its own particular ways, and varies from person to person. It is this quality of diversity, both of expression and opinion, that imparts energy to the arts and contributes to its endurance. Paleontologists report finding art — on cave walls, cliff sides, and objects –dated to the very beginnings of human culture.
Art in the western world tends to be divided from ordinary life, set on stages or museum walls and otherwise hidden away, except on television or in movie theaters. In other cultures, art and life are inextricably bound together and part of daily activity and rituals. Yet working with the world artfully is something everyone can do; some people do it with food, others with gardens. It doesn’t require a paint brush to be an artist, or any special talent to appreciate art.
Here at The Sun, we like to feature our community’s creativity as much as we like to feature news and opinion. Honoring creativity is not about celebrities; rather, it’s about celebrating creativity itself. For this reason, we’ve given our Creative Editor Deb Carlen a free hand to populate the August edition in her own artful way. Here’s a sample.