Art Making and the Pandemic

“Religion and Art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and Art are strangers.” Willa Cather 

Sink Daisy © 2018 Michael Maurer Smith

There is much speculation about how the art world will survive the Covid 19 pandemic. Most of what I’ve read centers on the financial devastation that will be incurred. Many galleries and museums are closing, art events and exhibits are being cancelled indefinitely, many university art programs will cease to exist, and thousands of artists are losing income. When the pandemic ends the world economies will have little, if any, funding left for arts and culture

 But art and art making will survive. People made art long before money was conceived; long before the concepts of marketing, finance and economics were thought of; long before art was commodified and artists turned into production workers; long before art became a profession and universities offered Master of Fine Arts degrees. 

Art making will remain available as a form of meditation or prayer. It can be a therapeutic practice—a way of expressing feelings—a way for the individual, or a group, to express joy at being alive. It can offer respite or a means of protest. It can be bartered for goods and services. It can be done just for the fun of it. Moreover, one’s artwork need not be sold to be valid and meaningful. Art making is its own reward. Nonetheless, artists should expect and demand fair prices when their artwork is sold. And the serious artist must work with integrity and self respect.    

© 2020 Michael Maurer Smith

One thought on “Art Making and the Pandemic

  1. There’s a place on FB called Virtual Art Fridays (Lansing area) where people post their stuff, how to get it, etc. I haven’t posted anything with prices, but you get some fun feedback and I suspect some have sold. Just making it is healing, I think — we get in our zen spot. At least I do!

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