Art vs Craft


Many moons ago, in 1987, I was told by a ‘real’ artist that what I represented was all of the ‘housewives’ who wanted to make a buck making crafty crap.  This was after I recieved a Best of Show in Art at a regional Art Fair in Central IL.  At that time,  I was in the middle of a life journey, researching and teaching myself Art forms all the while working as a Hospice nurse, Mother, and rehabilitating old houses while we lived in them.

The work I displayed was life casts in low fire clay bodies, enhanced with found objects. I had no preconcieved notions of what was considered Art & what was Craft. I began to survey every Artist I talked with about this. Along the way, I met more ‘Real Artists who worked from their heart/life/soul/personal experiences who had not a bit of formal Art education who’s Art was more meaningful than many ‘Trained Artists’.

Also, many of these same people say to create with the intention of selling is not as valuable as to create for the sake of creating. So much baloney – this is something taught in Institutions to guarantee they have new students willing to pay vast amounts of money to pay the educators & the  school. I do value education, it’s the mindset of many of those in the Arts that need a serious re-boot. The Artists I know need to sell to buy more paint, canvas, Glass, etc.

Really, all one has to do is use the verbiage that is popular at any given time to elevate a piece of junk in a reliquary to so-called Fine Art. That is, if they have a formal Art education. Just so you know, I am nowhere near bitter or angry. On the contrary, I enjoy helping people jump the hoops to get into the better Art shows so they can show their work and enjoy a better living.

Having no formal education in the Arts I’ve worked for the IL Arts Council’s ARtist in Education program for 3 years (a roster of only 102 for the entire state) teaching children how to play with glass, kilns, and torches in safe ways. Artist in Residence for several towns I’ve lived in. Juried Member of the IL Artisans since 1993, Missouri Roster Artist for several years, Recieved many Best of Show, First place, etc. awards, and have enjoyed every minute making friends and changing ideas about what and who an Artist can be and what Art truly is.

BTW, Fine Craft is often the designation of ‘Flat Glass’ & Lampworked glass for many shows, as if we don’t have as much invested in our materials and work,lol.

Keep the faith, do what is right for you, and don’t let anyone put your work down. I’ve bought some fantastic Art for less than 10.00.




have a Lifelong Passion For Glass

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