Making a living

Have You Heard Of “United States Artists”? I Hadn’t.

A Facebook artist friend posted a link to a web page which said a survey showed that 96% of Americans value art in their communities, but only 27% value artists. What’s up with that?

That page is part of the site of United States Artists, whose mission is to provide direct support to artists by means of substantial grants. Really substantial grants. Like $50,000 each for 50 artists EVERY YEAR. Before you start hyperventilating with anticipation, artists have to be nominated. You can’t just apply. Anyway, check out the site. And feel warm and fuzzy about the fact that someone has finally figured out that most of us work really hard at our art, but don’t make a lot of money at it and that the money has generally gone to cultural institutions, not the people who do the actual creative work.

Needless to say, I wish United States Artists every success.

2 replies »

  1. What’s up with that?

    Regular upstanding people want those dirty hippies to be elsewhere making art-stuff to grace the center of the food court while conveniently not dating your daughter.

    Or maybe “art” can be made by normal people who are not “artists,” in much the same way we can have all the technology and medicine ‘n’ stuff we desire in our greedy little hearts while rejecting science and scientists.

    Or else Art Happens, no human agency involved.

    Choose your cognitive disconnect.

    Like

  2. I kind of like #3 because then it would be….Magic.

    We can be sort of messy to be around though. Ask my husband and his brother.

    A catch-22 I’ve often encountered is that we are special because we are Artists, gifted in fact. But because it’s a gift and therefore what we do doesn’t require any, you know, Effort, that means what we produce can’t be worth much.

    I see it as a manifestation of the old Puritan ethic that there is no value without effort. Preferably with a lot of misery to top it off.

    I guess the mental and physical exhaustion I sometimes feel after a day at the easel is just my imagination.

    Like

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