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Creativity Explored artists and instructors having Art Talk
In the Studio

CE artists discuss art making and the art world

Posted on June 1, 2017

“Writing is easy,” Visual Art Instructor Danielle Wright read from an epigraph from Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, “All you do is sit staring at a piece of blank paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.” The twelve artists sitting around the table giggled and offered explanations about what made the statement, a quote from writer Gene Fowler, so funny. “It’s unexpected!” Isaac Haney-Owens said. Allura Fong said, “It makes me think of raindrops.” Thomas Pringle conjured the image of an artist cutting themselves and using blood to make art. “That sounds dangerous,” Wright responded before reading on.

It’s Art Talk time at CE2, Creativity Explored’s studio in Potrero Hill. Haney -Owens shares about previous Art Talks: “[Studio Manager] Francis [Kohler] showed us a video about an artist who used to work here [Gordon Shepard]. They made a documentary about him [Clown, 2007]. We also watched a video from PBS that explained terms that are used in the art world. It is important for us to know the proper terms to use when talking about art. I like when we talk about art because that’s what we do here; we explore more about art.”

Today’s text is thought provoking for studio artists and instructors alike. “Art is made by ordinary people,” Wright reads, “ Creatures having only virtues can hardly be imagined making art . . . If art is made by ordinary people, then you’d have to allow that the ideal artist would be an ordinary person too, with the whole usual mixed bag of traits that real human beings possess.”

Haney-Owens has more to say about the subject, particularly about the tendency of critics and others in the art world to call art by people with disabilities “outsider art”: “I don’t think art by people with disabilities should be called ‘outsider art.’ It should just be called ‘art.’ We’re doing the same thing that other people are doing. We’re just doing it in an environment that’s set up for us. We need some accommodations.” He continues, “I like working here because it’s set up for us, and I get a sense of community. I don’t have to be afraid here that people are going to say negative things about me or say that I’m weird.” 

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