It is no secret that our polluted concurrent worlds have a toxic mental block that prevents forward thinking on all levels. 2016 is a political year for Americans and there is a tendency to reduce history and culture into small binary bits so they can fit into specific controlled patterns. Resulting in a proverbial yet fraudulent horse race. Being a life-long history and language wonk, I can understand the systemic chaos that walks around with us as we face social demons, struggles and mishaps. Our pain is not accidental or about personal choice. There are bigger forces at play desperately attempting to hang onto the bones of slavery. De-humanization is not enough for these global forces especially since we already live with daily "mini" genocides: gun violence everywhere, cultural attractions exploding worldwide, community centers fatally attacked, mass human displacement, destruction of property, water and land, man-made and via Mother Nature etc… We have to ask "Where are artists in these volatile and extreme realms?"
Several years ago there was a demographic study produced that suggested provocatively when asked 90% of American liked art but only 30% said they liked artists. This disconnect is what inspired “ARTIST BY DEFINITION.” The premise is to define our selves for our selves. Artists are uniquely positioned to renovate society’s mind - not as a radical act or global epiphany but as agents for human interaction. Micro Museum has witnessed the unbeatable entrepreneurial spirit of artists in their artistic quests. Often times that “self-starting” creative spirit survives despite the usually horrific conditions that artists are forced to overcome. America would do well to seek our guidance but clearly from the statistic above, they don’t even know we exist. As jobs give way to automation or as a part of planned obsolescence, people of all ages and abilities will have to reach inside themselves to conjure new personal horizons by finding the synergy to retool the idea of “pulling one up by their own bootstraps.” Artists do this everyday. It is so commonplace for artists to be dedicated to their private missions, that it is not considered extraordinary. What’s truly extraordinary from my observations is that accomplished artists cannot stop re-imagining their futures; it is as if before personally driven art goals can become practical, they are first and foremost perceptional. My intentions with these premiere discussions is to discover a new "artist-speak" to add to the cultural lexicon. Just like the world needs new and better stories that reflect our shared human experiences, artists are free-wheeling and need new vistas.
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Artist by Definition Graphic by Jamie Leo