I recently had the honor of being part of a symposium hosted by Rhodes College about art and place. I thought I would write about the public art panel on which I spoke with local artist and organizer Cat Peña and Clough Hanson gallery director Joel Parsons. And while there were some real gems from that conversation, I can’t get something out of my head that the plenary speaker before our panel said…
Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson gave a fantastic lecture about the connection between art and quality of life. (Note: not the potential economic impact, though there is plenty to be said about that.) Dr. Jackson spoke about how humans use art and culture to frame our own reality and experience; the abilities to create and express ourselves as key to our responding to the world around us. To take those abilities away is to dis-empower people.
And yet, art is often seen as the icing on the cake, rather than the cake itself. Dr. Jackson asked why the arts aren’t seen as a key ingredient in the batter?
Insert hallelujah chorus, “Yasss, Queen,” snaps, fist bumps, whatever you got here.