BUTTERFLY NO. 1 BY FRITZ SCHOLDER
It’s hard to pay attention to current events these days without getting at least a little bit concerned. Between gas prices, housing-market woes, rising unemployment, a faltering stock market, and election uncertainty, the picture isn’t exactly rosy. No matter what our particular financial status or political persuasion, most of us have been affected in some way by the current economic situation.
Maybe it’s a matter of adjusting investments, maybe we’ve tightened budgets, or maybe it’s difficult to make ends meet. This holds true in the art world as well. As travel becomes more expensive and more difficult, collectors and artists alike are choosing their trips carefully. Spending decisions are made more cautiously. And we were sorry to see one of our fellow publishers, Wildlife Art magazine, close its doors a few months ago.
But despite the bad news and tough times, I believe this to be true: Art endures. It endures, first, for the artist, whose creative spirit can’t be extinguished, no matter how grim the predictions. The drive to create, to express oneself visually, isn’t vulnerable to such external forces. Quite the opposite, in fact; life’s difficult circumstances often bring about an even stronger yearning for self-expression.
And there’s no better time for it. What better time than now to find meaning and solace in artwork, whether it’s the beauty of an unspoiled landscape or the serenity of a still life—or perhaps the shared sentiment of a piece that deals directly with the world’s troubles. Because art endures, not just for the artist, but also for those of us who view and appreciate their talent and efforts. We need their creations as much as they need to create. We need the colorful afternoon light on a mountain vista, the reflective qualities of a rich bronze patina, the loveliness of a perfectly rendered figure drawing.
And so some of us continue to collect the art we love. Others, perhaps, choose a smaller piece or a piece by an up-and-coming artist. Others choose a print. And others decide, for now, to fully appreciate those works already in their collections or their local museum. No matter where we find it, art is a constant, reminding us of the unchanging power of creativity to enrich our lives. -August 2008