Date of this Version
Published in Textiles and Politics: Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium Proceedings, Washington, DC, September 18- September 22, 2012.
The politics of creating art pertains to assumptions relating to a given cultural sphere or theory that are concerned with power and status in society. From the perspective of an artist and educator, I will question prevalent assumptions in the contemporary culture of making and teaching art, and present alternative approaches inspired by textile artists from diverse cultures. What makes art "strong" - must we assume attitudes and mediums traditionally in the male domain? Are art students encouraged to "fit in" to the current scene, as opposed to developing their own creative integrity? Does "pushing the envelope" necessarily mean "beyond sacred"? What are the pressures to create art quickly? Is craftsmanship of any significance in contemporary art? Is there an expectation to create for and market to elites only? Examples of work and creative philosophies from both traditional and contemporary textile artists will be included, such as; D Y Begay, Itchiku Kubota, James Bassler, Moroccan Berbers, Mary Babcock and myself.