I enrolled in an Art History class when I was in college a million years ago. I think I went to two classes and dropped out because it was painfully boring. The professor stood in a dark class and talked about slides she showed. She just droned on and on which simply wasn’t engaging for me. I should’ve known better – I’ve never been a fan of history, in general, and need to be able to participate in things I want to learn.
These days I can’t even imagine what schools are teaching students about art (if anything at all) and wonder why people pay for that degree when they could just as easily visit a public library and read all about the wonderful art history that’s out there. One thing I think has changed is how people receive art and participate. Now with urban/street art so popular, it allows every person to see random spaces as their canvases in which they can create anything they want, as individuals or with collectives. It allows people the freedom to be hands-on, not watch from the sidelines. Galleries no longer exist in one room white walled spaces, but color taproom and bar walls.
It’s possible I took for granted the importance of what could have been learned in that art history class, yet still came to recognize how we wouldn’t be here without the pioneers and how learning about art is not restricted to a classroom. Because of them, I am free to peruse museums whenever I want, wander neighborhoods looking for street art or gallery openings, and to focus on my own content creation. One thing I did pick up in that class is art has always meant to represent as much as push boundaries, speak for people and causes who were overlooked, and leave its mark. Art was never meant to be locked away, but rather to be shared, even downright loved, by anyone who wants a part in it.
The last few times I visited Long Island City, I was greeted with commercial and public street art on my walks to work. Nothing will replace 5Pointz, but the scene is alive and well. LIC Arts Open has a festival which started Wed, May 16 and runs until the 20th. It’s FREE! Check out the exhibit and enjoy the festivities!
So, go out there and create something. Then share your creations and tag us! #WeAreLIB #ArtAllDay