Roles & Responsibilities of Art / the Artist

Not that it’s anything new, but I’ve noticed a lot of “The point of art is…” and “It’s an artist’s responsibility to…” statements lately and it always interests me when people make definitive remarks about something that can mean/do so many things.

I wrote the above on Canada Arts Connect last week (…um…did I just quote myself?) along with asking our readers to fill in the blanks:

“The role of the artist is to _____________.”

“The role of art is to _____________.” Is it different than the role of the artist?

I had A LOT of responses come in over Twitter and Facebook. It would be a little overwhelming if I included them all in this post, but here are a few:

What is the role of the artist?

  • “create a pathway to experience.” - dsharpdavis
  • “”The Role of the artist is to make their own stylized comment on the state of humanity”” - Natalia K.
  • “the role of the artist is to suspend time, even if just for a moment.” - Jacqueline W.
  • “the role of the artist is to evoke, invoke and provoke” - Bartlett Gallery
  • “the artist is there to express themselves through their art and allow others to relate” - Staverous C.
  • “…poke into the edges we haven’t gone into or dare not go into.” - Maggie S.
  • “The role of the artist is to fill in the blank.” - Peggy M.
  • “connect” - Appy A.

What is the role of art? Is it different than the role of the artist?

  • “The role of art is to exist. Challenge, question, support, beautify, testify, et cetera. Not even the artist can guarantee what it will be. Too many factors… Time, culture, politics, history; it’s all organic.” - Mat C.
  • “The role of art is to inspire, explore and illuminate the truth.” - Brittney F.
  • “provoke fun, thought & interest. Without art, life would be dull.The role of the artist is to create & share with the world.” - Nav S.

I personally don’t think the roles and responsibilities of art / the artist are absolute. I also don’t see a need to make definitive statements about something so subjective. But it’s certainly interesting to explore what the roles and responsibilities can be or could be.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

  3 comments for “Roles & Responsibilities of Art / the Artist

  1. January 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I just fell in love with your blog! It’s wonderful to find a new community of artists to draw inspiration from :)

  2. Desiree O
    January 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks so much, Kat! It’s great to connect with you!

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