Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More on art and politics

Reader had difficulty posting a comment so I'm including it as a regular post.
In future, if anyone has difficulty adding comment to the blog, let me know.

Hey, Sandra, Matt again. Blogger wouldn't let me post the reply, so here it is:

Caught much of the debate on TV at a local pub, with the sound off and closed captioning on. Being an Aspie, I didn't catch the look-into-the-eye part, but watching McCain I did get the impression of someone on the defensive. The distortion ain't working -- as the polls I've seen (mainly Yahoo!s Political Dashbord) are any indication.

We artists would face very interesting times (in the Chinese curse sense of the word) in a McCain Administration, no?) Given the sparse amounts of grant cash available, the budget-cut part doesn't really concern me that much. At worst: a revival of shoestring macrame, so to speak.

What does concern me is that McCain would spoil the GOP's base even more by giving the appropriate Arts slots (if that's the right term) to folks with ideological blinders. At least Bush gave the NEA chair to Dana Gioia (probably because he used to be a business exec), who has done alright, in my humble (but limited) opinion. But should McCain get in...::shudders::

Anyway, my .02. Good post.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Art and the First Presidential Debate

How depressing can it become?
 Who can make art when a mean spirited old man with no capacity for empathy wants to get his itchy fingers on the red button? A man who is so contemptuous of the American people that he would risk having an incompetent, inexperienced, right wing extremist as a vice president, just because that person is a woman? It's almost too much to bear.
I rushed home from the opening of my friend Kathy Knaus' art show, to watch the first presidential debate, and John McCain, who brags of his ability to work with those with whom he disagrees, was so condescending to Barack Obama that he couldn't even look him in the eye as he distorted Obama's record and message. Doesn't this tell us a great deal about his respect for those with ideas at variance with his own?
As an artist, it's terrifying when his answer to the economic disaster we now face, after 8 years of Republican administration, is the threat of a near total federal spending freeze. Imagine, for example, what that would do to the NEA, and countless art organizations around the country. All of our cultural institutions would decline, if they were able to continue existence at all. What about the Smithsonian and its numerous museums? The list is very long. And this is only one very small corner of our society which would be affected by such a drastic decision.
While not discussing specifics, Obama's response was that McCain would use a hatchet when a scalpel was needed.
You can read Barack Obama's position paper on the arts by clicking here.
We have gotten used to having guns and butter. I realize that some sacrifices may be necessary to right this economy. And, of course, the debate wasn't about art policy. But for many of us, the arts are essential to our lives, and we know that the arts are often the first to go when others try to define frivolity.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back to Blogging

Hello, Friends. Sorry for my long absence, due to some family health problems and travel. 
One piece of news is that I've been working on an update of my website, www.sandrakaplan.com. In a few weeks, there will be a new "My Colorado" gallery page, a new "Italy" gallery page, a re-do of the "mostly small paintings" gallery page, plus many other smaller changes. I'll let you know when all are up and visible. 
Since I last wrote, I've been traveling: to Italy, to Chicago, to Washington, DC, to the Colorado mountains. I'll try to play catch-up here during the next week or so.