On Voice

the voice

My undergraduate college’s motto was “a voice crying in the wilderness,” which suggests an inauspicious truth for starting a blog. But it strikes me that having a Voice of any kind is a good thing. The artist statement I wrote for my September show at the Cloister Gallery is really about voice:

Visual artists are usually introverts. Their “performance” comes in solitude and they often struggle with public appearance. That is evident in my 25 years of teaching in Visual Arts and is in contrast with my wife’s experience as the acting teacher in Theatre. I am myself an introvert, which can be an awkward trait for a teacher. Nonetheless, a show of work is an invitation to a conversation and I think art of all kinds is an important conversation going on in the culture, although we may not be aware of that because of the formality of a museum or gallery in which we encounter it.

Robert Bly says a poem is a snapshot of the poet’s consciousness at that moment. Karl Jung says that an individual’s consciousness is connected back at its roots to the consciousness of the whole of humanity and eventually to Spirit. It seems then that a piece of art or a body of work is an attempt the artist makes to catch reflections that appear on the surface but that connect to deeper common threads, questions about who we are now, what beauty is and how it matters, whether we can create or find Meaning in a world that seems to thwart or deny it so consistently.

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