Years ago, I watched a documentary about the fight Native Hawai’ians had undertaken to restore the sovereignty of their nation, which had illegally been stolen from them. It was a powerful documentary, and sadly I don’t recall the title of the work. What I do recall is a statement made that detailed how Native Hawai’ian culture was so efficient in yheir work that all their physical needs could be satisfied by a work day of four hours. The rest of their time was then devoted to family and culture development, including the devotion of time to artistic endeavors.
A monumental paradigm shift of awareness occurred for me with that statement. Art is creation. Not just the creation of a piece of art. Art is a process of creating life. Where the space for a full and loving life is created….when people sing, write, draw, weave, mold, build they are making so much more than objects. My understanding includes the idea that art creates reality. Art doesn’t imitate life, to my way of thinking. Art creates life.
We live in a reality where we are not afforded the time or space to create our realities using whatever artistic abilities we each possess. An argument can be made that we can make our “work” an art, and I will agree to an extent with that argument, saving a piece of debate for the question about who benefits from what we create in our “work”.
We are fortunate enough to have people and organizations that still make time and space for those who are able to create life through art. And, to that end, I would like to present two opportunities for you to support these people and their organizations.
First, consider the “Weaving a New Future” campaign currently underway for the Longhouse Fiber Arts Studio on the Indigenous Arts Campus of The Evergreen State College Longhouse. For over 20 years, the TESC Longhouse team has been creating space for Indigenous Arts, where talents could be developed and shared and creation could transpire. There are only a few more days in their campaign, and they could use the support. If you can’t support (and every little bit helps), please spread the word far and wide. I’m proud to support them.
Secondly, consider making a donation to the Morgan Family Y. Because of the Y, so many kids in the community have the opportunity to experience art and to develop their creative capacities. The Y does so many more things in the community, and I consider it a worthy investment. A little goes a long way, and kindly spread the word far and wide.