Freeboarder has been at art school for a month, and already he’s questioning the need for an academy to teach him how to make something.
I’m proud of him for asking the questions. The same debate occurs in the world of poetry, with many wondering if there is a need for the now ubiquitous M.F.A. in creative writing.
One talented student told Freeboarder that “art is dead.” My answer to that statement is that art simply is. The student was probably trying to sound provocative and oracular. Maybe he wanted to psyche out his competition.
Going to art school allows the artist a chance to live within a community of skilled, committed people. Of course, we can create those communities ourselves, outside the Academy.
Atlanta has a thriving arts community that originates with the people. We have wall art, street sculptures, and spoken word events, all outside the ivory tower.
Freeboarder got a little shaken from the statement that art is dead. I told him that if art is dead, human culture is dead, because the act of making is an inborn, human right.