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  • Lisa Stavinoha

Art Is NOT Just A Canvas

The beauty of creativity and art is that it does not fit into a nice square box. In fact the farther outside the box the art falls the more creative it is!

Being able to see an image, a color, a movement, a texture and more is a gift . Even more so is the gift to create the image, color, movement, etc. There are artists all over the world that create beautiful moving images to share their love of nature, cultures and their homes. These same artists also use their creativeness to honor and put forth the injustices in society and the prejudices of the human race.

This ability is not limited to the use of canvas only, artists create on any surface that furthers the stories and images they are telling. Somewhere along the way, the image and definition of a successful artist was not left fluid but defined. It was defined as someone who follows the rules of whatever creative group/society they are near and narrowed to be represented on canvas and sometimes on outside walls. This definition was taken from the polite society of old England and the very white image of an artist in smock with canvas.

Today all artists are not "classical" a lot of artists use the old techniques but apply them in new ways on a variety of surfaces. Canvas are great but not unexpected. As time goes forward, it would be nice to see galleries open up their calls for art to include non canvas creations. Yes this might limit the number accepted or the way art is displayed but the impacts of a section of a wall, a guitar or a skateboard would add so much interest and honestly be refreshingly different. True creativity would be allowed to shine if the image of an artist and an art gallery were shattered and swept away. Recognizing the differences and abilities of all artists is also important.

Everyone has some sort of creative talent. Everyone is artistic in some sense. Chefs prepare beautiful eye pleasing plates of food. They work with color, texture and portion just like an artist. An interior designer uses colors, space, texture and movement to create spaces for people to create in and gardeners design outside spaces for relaxation and for creative juices to rejuvenate. Each is an artist in their field and the variety of ways to share is amazing.

So why are artists locked in to traditional views and opinions?

I use different materials as a mixed media artist. I love to incorporate fibers with paint and textures as well as living organisms. Mixed media also allows me to create on the unexpected like a chair or a guitar.

Stepping outside of the artistic box paves the way for young artists to spread their wings more and challenge the norms that have been in place for over hundreds of years.

Support your local arts scene and celebrate the artists that are traditional AND the ones that step outside of the box. You will find that most artists do both and would step out more if there was more acceptance and somewhere for them to share.

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