When Does One Become an Artist?
April 8, 2021 - Joy Reed Belt
Michele Mikesell, "First Flight," Oil on Canvas, $2.400
"Mother Earth Laid Bare" by Alexander Hogue
One of my young colleagues asked me an interesting question the other day. She asked,” When Does One Become an Artist?” To put her query into context here are some facts. My colleague is a smart, artistically talented and a technically competent young woman from Edmond, who after graduating from high school was offered scholarships to both the Chicago Art Institute and The Pratt Institute in New York City. She decided to attend Pratt and major in Visual Communications. When Covid became rampant, she elected to take a gap year, return to Oklahoma City and work in our Gallery. So, when she asked me “When Does One Become an Artist?” I thought she really was asking when she will be confident in asserting that she is an artist. What must she achieve in sales, education and/or technical competency to be able to tell the public that she is an artist and not feel like an imposter? While giving consideration to my response, I recognized that she had asked a very profound question, so I decided to reach out to five artists and three curators in an attempt to find a universal answer to that question. When you read their responses you will note that the curators gave more objective answers while the artists I queried personalized the question.
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