Samantha Rochard

My creative process.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The National Registry - Can the Ministry's methods cause growth in Art?

Fern - Brianna Mc Carthy
This link will take you to the legislation for the Tax concession for companies who support the Arts in Trinidad and Tobago.

While their attempts are commendable, I think that the Ministry needs to view art in a broader context, other than those things that are available in galleries, and can hang on a wall.
The legislation speaks to art that has been evaluated by galleries. One of the main reasons that artists were lobbying the government for such support, was because the few galleries that exist obviously have a commercial agenda when it comes to art. The parameters in which art is classified as good, are very narrow; and art international has become much more than what can fit on a canvas or hang on a wall.
Growth of art has to be looked at in two ways. Not only should the financial aspect be taken care of, but the creative aspect must also be encouraged. Our current set up only caters to those tastes of a people with a limited appreciation of art, and is defined by what the buyer can hang on the wall of their living rooms.
The legislation does not cater to installation art or mural art; which in my opinion, is something that has the potential to speak to the broader public who are intimidated by galleries because they are seen as the "high class t'ing"
Mural in progress by Darren Cheewah
Our inability to see Art, as a precursor to creativity and innovation in our people speaks volumes! We limit our interpretation of things, events and literature to what we have been taught it should be, because this is what is "right and proper" as handed down from our education system and those who "know". Now wonder our country is so low on the scale of innovation! Even in our creativity, we are limited in our innovation! Ironic huh???

Christopher Cozier - Available at all leading Stores
Art, can be social commentary, as much as Calypso, Soca etc...which commanded  $2 million prizes in our recent Carnival. Social commentary, in the broader setting, cannot always be "evaluated" by a gallery. The corporate body who can go beyond the need to "hang something " on their walls, and engage the public in thought and conversation has not been found, and it is an aspect of our art that cannot be developed by this legislation.

Rather, the aims of the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism should seek to develop other aspects of art, and stretch the minds of the artists and the public beyond the box that art has been defined as.
Encouraging creativity not only causes growth in those who create, but those who view.  Encouraging creativity by encouraging buyers to buy is only one shortsighted aspect of the problem.

By the way... not all of us are " recognized" by galleries. Some of us deliberately stay far from the commercialized art and choose to sell online and through other methods. Now, to legitimize our work, we have to go to a gallery, and pay to have our work valuated??? The Ministry is again putting the value of our work to be dictated by those with purely commercial agendas.

Not fair guys...not creative either.

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