Part 4. Who can judge what art is?
So let’s take a minute to address the elephant in the room - What is art, and who has the audacity to judge it? (Gasp…)
Art is whatever you would like to define it as, but that isn’t what this debate is about. For the purposes of this discussion it doesn’t matter what art is or isn’t, what matters is where you put it and, if it is on private property, you need to consider and respect the rights of the property owner. Freedom of speech is indeed a beautiful thing, but we don’t have the right to use someone else’s property without their consent in that expression. If it is something they don’t wish to support you on, you haven’t lost your voice, you just need to find a different avenue to be heard, whether that means building your own canvas, or just finding a different way to say what you have to say. Artists, since the beginning of time, have used their art to make bold statements about society by being clever instead of vulgar or using blunt aggression.
Yes, the new Art Alley Permit System will change creative spontaneity in the Alley, and changes like that can be difficult. However, we need to understand the greater scope of this conversation. Do you want a little change to the space that will hopefully make it stronger and more sustainable, or do you want a big change and have the entire project dismantled and whitewashed? Those are the only two options left on the table.
We believe in the importance of this space, and its ability to transform our community, touch people, and change lives. It has changed some of ours, and that is why we are here, ready to do the difficult work ahead to keep this place around for the next generation, but we need you to be a part of this.
There will be a public reception at the Dahl Arts Center to discuss, dream, and pave a future for Art Alley on Tuesday, April 12th from 5:30-7pm. We hope you’ll join us.