Who could possibly keep up with this much amazing art?

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Over the years, I’ve been in so many conversations (nah, that’s just being nice; they were arguments) about art. What is art? What is its purpose? Who gets to make it? Who gets to consume it? Why? I find the topic interesting until one person defines art by excluding everything they personally think is not worthy. (I usually read that as, “I don’t like art by or about people from a different race, nationality, class, gender, etc., but I won’t admit to that. So I’ll just say their art’s not art.”) Then someone else says, “No, but my thing is art. My idea of art is right too.”

Really, you could insert any darn topic into that structure and recognize one thing fast. It easily becomes a tired exercise that doesn’t reach the goal of defining art and its purpose. Is disability art actually art? Is it disability art if the theme isn’t disability but the artist is disabled? Is folk art art? Is folk art high art? Do documentaries have to be entertaining? Does modern dance have to tell a story? Is art therapy art? Blargh, you guys! Put your navel down for a second, please!

In my experiences of working in many different art forms and consuming gobs and gobs of different types of art over the years, I feel like I can’t take one more argument about it. What seems most consistent is that different people make different kinds of art for different reasons, and different other people enjoy or don’t enjoy it for different–same or other–reasons. I feel comfier when I’m in a space where no one degrades anyone else’s art because it’s not what they like. Of course, I prefer when people recognize that not all art made by people with disabilities is art therapy. But that’s mostly because I’m tired of people thinking that anything anyone with any disability does must be for rehab and and couldn’t have any other purpose, like for political protest or social change or just to be arty.

“Who Am I To Stop It” being a documentary about artists who make art, this is on my mind a ton. It’s ironic too because I’m not one of those people who feels driven to make art. How did I get here, then? I guess I really like art!

Here’s some current super goodness of super great art artsy-ness that I wanted to share with you today. I love it when the alerts in my Inbox all align so well on the art front. Because more often than not, if a lot of my alerts align, they’re medical, political, or somehow related to that pig who’s walking a cat on a leash video, that last one being pretty much OK with me.

Once again, University of Washington has their Brain Injury Art Show up! There are 35 artists in the show this year, their eighth year. The exhibition’s title is “Breaking the Silence,” and you can view it at the School of Social Work through September 16th. Please do.

Here’s another article about the various groups using art therapy and mask-decorating for wounded Veterans.

Sadly, after more than a decade, The Creativity Expo brain injury arts exhibition that Vince Diorio has been running might be over unless someone in New Jersey picks it up. Like now, folks! Vince has to relocate. Unlike an art therapy-based exhibit that brings the brain injury stories to the front, this show always kept the brain injury stories lower key. Vince wanted you to dig in, enjoy, and appreciate the art before the big reveal, that it was made by artists with brain injury disabilities.

So it’s all cool stuff, and I’m excited by all of it.

You’re probably wondering at this point why there are no images of art here in the post. I don’t know! But all the links will take you to sites with so many images of so many arts. I hope you’ll follow them and check them out. And if you ever have your own art you want to share on this blog, and you’ve got a disability, always be in touch. I’ve been proud to showcase many different artists in the past few years, and I’m so glad when artists get new audiences and more people to enjoy their work.