Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lets talk about art

Shay pointed me towards an article the other day, that he correctly thought I might have something to say about!

This article appeared in the Globe and Mail this week. While there's nothing particularly shocking about the article, the nastiness that was written in the comment section was...well....nasty! As Shay says, "I was shocked at the reader responses {which if you are a fan of reading any comments in the online edition it just seems the people who post are bitter folk from Brampton and the prairies} the anger and vitriol that people spat at new young parents, that original art for children will spoil them, it's a waste of money/time, that the child will never appreciate it, a woman said she hopes that she retires before these spoiled children enter the work force, that parents are putting their children at the center of their universe etc. Why were these people so incensed?"

I don't regularly read news on line, but I imagine that there's all sorts of fun and excitement that happens in the comment section on many on line articles.

Here's my 2 cents on the whole thing: I am quite proud of the fact that Griffin's room contains ONLY original art - I set out with the intention to do exactly that. There's the letters painted by Shay himself, some watercolour greeting cards from a local artist that I mounted and framed, a batik of Griffin's name by Sarah Hale, who is the mom of a good friend of mine, and a beautiful hand painted mirror similar to this one from a company called Sticks. Not to mention the half a dozen hand made quilts that are all over his room.

All of these things have meaning to us, and we hope to Griffin some day too. We bought the mirror in California on our honeymoon, less than a week after we found out we were pregnant...we searched all over the little ocean side town we were staying in for that perfect memento of our honeymoon. The greeting cards I bought at a local gallery show that Kendra and I went to, on a long weekend the summer after Griffin was born. The batik comes from a place that is very dear to me, and in fact to a lot of my friends - a place where the doors are always open, where you know you can always go to get away, drink tea, curl up with a thousand or so books, make a big meal with friends, and sleep in a bed that may or may not hold up through the night! I'm thrilled to have the custom painted letters from Shay, who has been a friend of both of ours for a number of years.

Both Steve and I work in the arts, and make our livings in the arts, and thus it's important to us to SUPPORT the arts and other artists, particularly local artists, and especially friends who are artists. I have no idea how buying original art for my kid will spoil him, or cause him to be selfish, or cause me to spend less time with him. He may never know who Diego is....OH WELL!! I'm pretty sure that Disney has enough money in their pockets, and I'm pretty sure that there are a ton of artists out there that never do...hell, there's two of us living in my house RIGHT NOW! I'd rather spend the little extra money we do have around here on occasion, on something that means something to me, and someday to my children. I hope that Griffin learns the importance of art in our world, the value of something that's handmade, and that he recognises the immense and varying talent that so many of the people we know posses. And...I hope he wants to be a doctor when he grows up!


Anonymous said...

...a doctor who buys a lot of original works of art!

gretel said...

oops...that was me...hit 'enter' too soon!

vandy said...

so, who's Diego?

Stacy said...

Jenn, I just read that article and the mostly ridiculous comments. I don't understand people. If they thing that original art is the downfall of society, they must live in a pretty good world. My little sister is a budding artist. A friend commissioned her to do a painting for the babies room and I thought it was great. The way you have Griffins room sounds great. I still have some of the stuff that was on my walls as a kid. It means a lot, brings back so many memories. So whether it be pictures the kid draws, from a friend or art you buy, it adds character and creates an atmosphere for memories. Whether or not the kid cares about it the first few years doesn't even matter. I can't believe those people even made it an issue. Anything that is personal and special to you and your family is better than something generic. That's what life's about right? I feel your pain with those comments. It sounds like Griffin has a special space in your house, and parents that love him. Love Stacy

Sarah said... I can't believe some of the comments there! "Maybe junior will cut off his ear and mail it back to his parents as a sign of his appreciation"?! What a bunch of crazy conservatives with nothing better to do.

xine says said...

As I said at the alphabet shoppe, these people probably don't buy art for themselves, no wonder they can't imagine sharing art with their kids!. I'm a proud owner of some of Shay's art and so is my nephew!

sharon said...

Hi Roofers all,

De-lurking here to add my 2c cents ( albeit Australian ones!). I agree with you, why would you want to put what is probably mass-produced rubbish on the walls of ANY room when something personal and handmade can be used. I make all of my own cards and other things too, My eldest son works as a fashion-designer/jewelery-maker/artist and has many happy customers who know that what they get from him is unique to them as he never totally duplicates any design. He'll never be rich but he makes a lot of people happy and keeps his self-respect by not selling out to the big Corporations who are only interested in making money regardless of the cost to the planet and the poor sods working in their sweatshops!

Oh, that was a bit of a diatribe but I do feel better for getting that off my chest :-)

Here it is Autumn and the temps have 'fallen' to the mid- twenties Centigrade - aren't you jealous! Seriously, I hope Spring really gets to you soon although I have enjoyed your snow pictures as it reminds me why I moved here from the UK almost 10 years ago.



Kendra said...

Hear hear to this awesome post Jenn, and all of the comments that followed. Adara's room is also filled with original art, although I have realized that it wasn't planned that way. I love that; that our lives just result in original art!