Monday, August 15, 2011

Wall Artists Need Walls

Exhibit in 2007 of paintings by Mary A. Gravelle
College Avenue Collection,
Silver City, New Mexico

This might sound like a strange idea but it is one that has come across my radar screen recently.

A friend told me that she never wants to pay rent or make house payments again. She wants to live in a tent or a yurt.  Another friend told me he never wants to own anything again, especially a house and property. And then a married couple told me that they had no wall space left to hang art. I guess I have been taking walls for granted. I never really thought about the implications of my art making requiring wall space. But it does. I’m a painter and my art hangs on a wall. That makes me a wall artist. Most wall artists are referred to as muralists who actually paint on a wall. For purposes of this article, I refer to anyone who makes art that hangs on a wall.

So, this has me wondering about my career as an artist. If people don’t have walls, where will my art hang? I could begin doing sculpture that stands alone. I could create environmental art like Andy Goldsmith. I could do sand painting that disappears with the wind or rain. I could do performance art. I could make any other kind of art that does not require wall space. But I love to paint.

Then this past week a magical thing happened on my way to my favorite hiking trail. I decided to take a different driving route. Instead of taking my normal left hand turn, I kept driving down the road all the way to the end. Much to my amazement it went up the mountain where a beautiful housing development of sorts had been created. Obviously these were people with enough money to build such beautiful homes on beautiful land with amazing views. Well, I’ll tell you, these people have walls and are most likely proud of those walls. So now my challenge is how to get my art up on those walls. I think walls will be around for a while. So my worries are over.

Have you had insights on wall issues as an artist? What are they? How have you reconciled them?

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