Is Art Dead?
I have been given a lot of grief about my choice to further my education in the fine arts. I have been told that I should not follow my passion, because it will leave me with very few job options. I have been told that even if I am lucky enough to find a job that the pay will be terrible. I have been told that I should obtain a career that doesn't interest me just for the sake of a salary. Well, I hope to prove those naysayers wrong, I might not be pursuing a career that is renowned for being “stable,” but I am pursuing my passion.
Allow me to pose a question to those who doubt my career choice. Have you ever been anywhere where it has not been touched by an art form of any kind? I didn't think so. “Art is as universal to our species as food gathering, procreation, community, and warfare” (Cherbo). Not only is it universal, but I would even venture to say that it is essential to our species. “It has contributed to the manifest needs of human social life from the beginning of time and continues to do so today-to healing, play, entertainment, wonder, celebration, security, catharsis, transcendence, belonging, and social placement” (Cherbo). Art is a part of our very beings, it penetrates us and invokes feeling. It is everywhere, and it is something humans crave. People will spend thousands of dollars to have something beautiful in their homes, so how can they tell me that trying to further my career in the arts is useless when they probably have hundreds of pieces of art decorating their home?
I do realize that there is some truth to the concern that has been expressed to me about my future career. “...Artists from a variety of fields experience higher unemployment rates than the general U.S. Workforce” (Higher Rate). It is difficult to find a job in the arts field. Somewhere I heard that for every job opening, to be an art instructor at a school, there where around 300 applicants. While it might be difficult to find a job in the arts, I don't believe in sacrificing your happiness to pursue a career that you are not passionate about. I cannot imagine my life without the arts and I refuse to give up on my passion before I have even given it a chance.
I will stay optimistic about my career choice, because I believe in art. Imagine what would happen if everybody stopped pursuing the arts, and instead chose a “safer” career. What would become of us? I can only picture a scene from the movie Equilibrium where feelings were banned, and anything that invoked feelings like art or music were destroyed. Humanity would suffer without any beauty in the world. We wouldn't have any music, or movies, or paintings. What a horrible way to live.
I can only speak for myself, but I know I would trade in a paycheck for the sake of my happiness, and to me my passions and happiness go hand in hand. It makes me sad to think of all of the talent that has gone to waste, because someone felt pressured to have a high-end...