About the Arts, From an Artist, To All Artists 

     For a year and a half a lot of thoughts about the arts world and about our place in it have continued to swirl in my thinking........some of the worst things than can happen to a large society, indeed the world society, have happened.......huge numbers of people have succumbed, and most everyone has experienced frustration, sadness, impatience, fear, boredom and perplexity about how to move forward.

     We artists are kind of in a special category because no matter what our job is, we have the honor and the responsibility of talking to the world about the world and its people. The arts are, in many ways, the most exalted form of exploration and discovery on earth. So it strikes me that as we begin crawling out of the pandemic and toward what we hope will soon be a return to 'normal' life, and a rush back toward the things and people we love........we have an opportunity and a responsibility to truly begin doing so in every way we can, in big ways, in bold steps deeper into our art. I suspect the majority of artists have had at least some periods of complacency and even withdrawal over the past months.  But we all know that truly great artists who succeed are people who are always creating, always searching, always rehearsing and performing and communicating.

     So my challenge to all my fellow artists is -- especially if you have fallen into a slump or a 'dry' period --to get off the couch, get off the text messaging and social media for five minutes, and go deep into some aspect of your art, or your quest for intimacy with the arts. You may be astonished to see how much better you feel. Just as importantly, things are opening up again! Theatres are opening, concerts are being scheduled, many of us are back in the recording studio, people are going back to school, and audiences are starving for anything arts-related!  

     It is time to get back to work. Now -- WE MUST DO SO SAFELY -- this is not the time for reckless heroics. I will be the first to tell you that you must be vaccinated, you must hang onto that mask, you must be cautious and respectful when anyone else is around, you must be smart. But it is time to get back to work! Time to explore again, to dream again, to buy tickets for a show or movie, to start reading and practicing your lines, to draw and paint and write and exercise and memorize and plan. Find something in the arts that you have dearly missed, or that you love -- and jump into it right now! If you are truly an artist, once you begin stepping back in you will not be able to sidestep it or to back out. 

     Last night I stood outside and stared at the very bright full moon and the amazingly bright Jupiter which was hanging over the moon's 'shoulder'......it was one of the most beautiful examples of art that I have ever seen. I was astonished. I could not have commissioned a more monumental work of art from the greatest of visual artists. All it cost me was ten minutes of my time and a very short walk.

     YOU can resuscitate your art, your passion and gifts for artistry, and you can do it right now. No more moping about or hiding, no more depression or anger. There are people out there who are very thirsty for the art you can produce and perform. The time is now!

James Gibson


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