Art for Everyone
Sadly, much art from the past decades is unfathomable to most. Therefore, many people, voting with their feet, have walked away from visual art because they see that visual art first walked away from them. What ought to be a sweet, reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationship of neighbor-love between artist and viewer––each knowing and deeply serving the other––is now widely soured and badly damaged. Most people never go to art galleries and museums. Hardly anyone buys art for wedding presents. It is the great exception rather than the happy norm for people to have affordable, good art hanging on their kitchen wall. Instead, as a commodity, art has become rarified and exclusive. It is far from being a normal, given and embodied thread of beauty and blessing woven right into the fabric of most people's everyday lives. This is very bad for art, much worse for people, and disastrous for a culture.
Because I ache over this needless split, I am quietly trying to do something about it. Since most people do not go to art galleries, could the art gallery come to them? After Bone of My Bones left Indiana Wesleyan in April 2014, I launched a small experiment: would it work well to set up this art show for one to five days in churches, schools, private homes, commercial spaces, and other venues? Would people come? Would they linger and look, ponder and query, discuss and debate? Could normal logistical problems––like lighting, pedestals, insurance, transportation, set-up and take-down, and clean up––be easily solved?
It has now been almost a year since I began this experiment and the answer is a clear, firm ‘yes.’ The logistical problems have been easy. Even given the great variety, each space has worked well. And people have come––lots of people! After the first evening, word has spread and more friends and family attend the next night. I’m very glad! Bone of My Bones in non-gallery spaces has served well.
"Really moving interpretations of the meaning of marriage in beautiful wood! I actually didn't know how much I love looking at wood until I saw Mark Potter's show. I could even smell some of the wood! Very engaging Q and A.” Melissa Norton