The subject of art versus craft continues to interest me, and others, evidently. Or perhaps I am just very tuned into this channel.
Most recently I spotted this post by fiber artist, Kathleen Loomis:
Clawing your way out -- or in
Kathleen makes the case that it is possible to back into the fiber arts, and be recognized or appreciated, if one first obtains a fine arts degree from certain academic institutions. Such fiber art is recognized as art. Even if it is not particularly good.
It has also been pointed out to me that if fiber art is made by a man, then it is noteworthy. It may be viewed as art. When women produce fiber art, it is craft or even domestic crafting. Perhaps I overstate the case, but see, for example, this art show in NYC: alt_Quilts. Two men, one woman, alternative materials. And the pieces are actually very good. Thought- provoking on several levels.
Last night at my quilt guild, a member showed a lovely piece she made that hangs in her *studio.* It was a lovely piece. Art that happened to be composed of fabric and stitch. The guild leader raised her eyebrows at the mention of her studio.
I must confess that I have trouble referring to my space as my studio. I'm much more comfortable calling it my sewing room. After all, I came to fiber art via my attempts to make things that are useful:
Can I wear it?
Can I sleep under it?
Can I put my stuff in it?
The label of artist is not something I come to easily. This denial denigrates my work, ultimately. It is self-sabotage. I don't actually make things, create art, in order to meet a need. No, I make things because I long to create and I am nurtured when I create.
Just tonight, I realized that calling it my studio means that I speak out loud my intention to create art. Calling it my sewing room allows me to just sew. That also means that I am not taking any risk. I am not pushing my boundaries. And that may actually limit my creativity.
My new, new year's resolution is to claim my artistic endeavors, to claim my sewing studio as a haven for my art, and to name myself artist. It will not happen tonight. I wonder if a year is long enough.
And you? How is your art?