A live arts experience can be fleeting. A play or concert might only last two hours. A poetry reading – even less. A visit to a museum offers palpable pleasure while physically there, but, as they say, you can’t take it with you. By the time we return home the multiple, finer details of a cultural experience are already fading. Sifting through the day’s mail or cleaning the dishes, we might only remember key moments or an overall impression of what we’d seen just hours before. Some of us wish the moment could have lasted longer or, better yet, come home with us to be played over and over again. An arts experience, so moving at the time, is impermanent. Why, then, do so many of us spend our hard-earned money on an art experience, when the benefits could be perceived as nothing but temporary?
The homeless… Hidden in plain sight, we often walk right by these unfortunate souls, avoiding their eyes as much as we avoid any thought about their misfortune or desperation. I’m not sure why. Is it fear? A concern that their condition might be contagious? Or that we’ll be asked to give more than we think we can afford? Do some of us even blame them for their own predicament? Whatever the answer, by ignoring these individuals we deny their humanity. And by denying their humanity, we also diminish our own.
I recently came across an online discussion. The question posed was, simply, “Is graphic design art?” The answers were far from simple – and rarely concurrent. Perhaps this is because the simple question is not so simple, after all. Continue reading