Outside the outsiders

It’s tough. There is a lot of talk about artists being on the margins. There is a lot of talk about artists being the prophets of today. Artists struggle for support. Artists are seen as the outcasts, the misfits, the iconoclasts. And those names are usually the kinder ones thrown in the direction of artists.

There is progress being made. Community based art and art initiatives are more common than ever. Churches and seminaries are incorporating serious and contemporary consideration for the arts, from hiring artists as directors to new arts and culture focused curricula. The best endeavors, in my not-so-humble-opinion, are the efforts that seek to make art simply a part of everyday life without aggrandizing the art or the artists.

This was not an easy path to find to reconciling our creative natures with our intellects. But it is happening slowly but surely.

Through it all, though, there is still a certain acceptability at work. Only certain artists who work within a certain institutional framework and who use a certain vocabulary are recognized and revered. There are many conversations that are finally taking place, yet it seems the conversations are closed to only a certain few.

As a song once asked, who fights the power that fights the power? Who points out when the body is caught following Paul or Peter or Apollos when Peter, Paul, and Apollos don’t notice or maybe even relish the attention, finally finding affirmation in the recognition after their long struggle?

Is there a place for those who are outside the outsiders? Who listens to the ones no one listens to when even the ones no one listens to won’t listen to them?

Thanks for reading,
Joe

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