Saturday, July 31, 2010

Reverence for Art and Craft

Digitally altered screen print
3" x 4"

It's Saturday and I promised myself the gift of easing into the weekend via a partial viewing of the exceptional documentary Craft in America.  Originally broadcast in 2007 by PBS, the series comprised three, hour-long segments captured on one DVD, and was followed by "Season Two" in 2009.   Viewing the original broadcast in 2007 was a moving experience and suprisingly, viewing it again was equally moving, if not more so.  In fact, many times while viewing it this morning, I found myself struggling to hold back tears. 

Sure, the documentary showcases American artists and features footage of diverse natural regions of the country, but the tenets, so eloquently conveyed by the artists who participated in the project, are universal:  humans as individuals need to create; art is essential for the survival of the human species; nature is the ultimate inspiration; beauty is an expression of the divine; a beautifully crafted, functional object is imbued with the spirit of both the creator and the natural material it is created from; and, there is virtue and value in the act of creation and in the preservation and continuation of art and craft traditions. 

 If you are a fine artist or a craftsperson, Craft in America will affirm your beliefs about the importance of the path you have chosen to follow.  And I feel compelled to add that when I turned the video off and returned to my blog, the first thing I did was scroll down to view your blogger icons (or whatever they're called.)  Seeing them all, and knowing that you are scattered around the globe, brought an enormous upwelling of emotion... and connectedness... and goodness... and hopefulness -- akin to the feeling I always get when I watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  :)

So kudos to all of you-- visitors and followers alike-- from both near and afar, for pursuing your artistic endeavors!!


Anonymous said...

Nicely said!

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

Gloria...another lovely post from you. Thanks for this, as I've not seen this program and will hope to be able to get it on Netflix since we don't have television per se. I'm sure I will also be in tears...blesssings to everyone who follows the creative path in whatever form it takes!


Gloria Freshley said...

Mary and Patti -- Thanks for taking the time to read the post! Hope you can get your hands on the DVDs (Both seasons are great!)...Gloria

Susan Johnson said...

I don't think artists and craftspeople are as supported by their culture in the US as they are in other countries (Scandinavia for instance). I think this makes it particularly hard to be a craftsperson in this country

Gloria Freshley said...

Hi Susan, Thanks for your thoughts. Believe me, I take them to heart, having come from someone who makes such beautiful and truly functional textiles! Maybe I'll take this idea up in a follow-up post??? Thanks for stopping by!