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Caroline Henry Art Blog

A bit more on Art Communities

by Caroline , May 15, 2008—06:33 PM

Topics: art organization, inspiration

To finish my thoughts on communities within the art world__"after talking last time about the sort of community art group which is open to all artists and art lovers and exists for benefit of artists and the art needs of the community as a whole.

An important and very different association is that of the specialist group__"set apart because of an interest in a single media or a common professional ground. Many of these generally has specific criteria which must be met, and membership entitles the artist to place a set of initials after his or her name. I am affiliated with only one such group, the NLAPW (National League of American Pen Women). This association of women writers, artists, and composers focuses on encouraging achievement, but I love my local branch mostly because they are bright, fun, and caring.

In addition to formal groups, many artists benefit from informal gatherings where they regularly paint together. They may pool resources to hire models, meet at an outdoor locale for plein aire painting, set up a still life, or simply get together in one place but each work on very different projects. They may also come together in the same caf__ once a week, or month, or whatever, to talk art.

As I write my ArtId blog, I can__™t speak of community without including the on-line connections that so many artists make today. Chances are that on this or other sites, you became involved because of the marketing possibilities. But you may find yourself also enriched by the comments and ideas of others__"perhaps having to rein yourself in from spending too much time reading, commenting, and bouncing around among art sites!

If you__™ve let yourself become isolated in your art, you may find yourself increasingly isolated from your art__"unable to find the motivation to pick up the materials that you know you love and create. If this is you, try finding a group that fits your personality. You may find the time that you give to it well invested in new creative energy.




  Michael Mize ( homepage )

05/16/2008 * 11:12:52

You make a very salient point about the connections between ourselves, our art, and our peers. As artists, we are inherently social creatures; the very act of creating is, in itself, an attempt to communiate. In order to really develop our efforts and ideas, they simply must be nurtured in a community environment. This is precisely why I have the desks in my room arranged in groups of four. To promote a sense of community and encourage the sharing of ideas and opinions.

Well said, Caroline. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

- Michael Mize, FYCTHSAWBOP
(Fathers of Young Children who Teach High School Art, Write Blogs, and Occassionally Paint)

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