Monday, October 06, 2008

Art is too subsidized

Christine Blatchford was "married for many years to a painter - and a wholly self-supporting one at that, who on principle would not even apply for government grants because he knew how incestuous and often how far removed from merit that system is."

Perhaps this is why her Globe and Mail article opposes

the notion - pervasive in Canada - that Big Brother must be the only funder of the arts and should pick up the tab, cradle-to-grave, for artists, arts groups, art organizations, art schools and art classes, art publications, art shows, arts festivals, arts magazines, art touring and art publicity and that this is the only way for art and the arts to thrive.

As the great painter Charles Pachter said two nights ago, in a Bravo! discussion called Does Art Matter? that preceded the leaders debate, the Canadian arts world has "learned to exist on the grants system," not always with stellar results, and there ought to be a bigger role for philanthropists and corporations both....

As Charles Pachter said in his closing remarks the other night, let government support arts and culture for young people, "because that's where it all starts," and let's otherwise encourage entrepreneurship and good business attitudes in what is "the soul of the country." That means more schmoes like me buying art; more companies such as L'Oréal supporting festivals like Luminato, and at the very least, that the whole ball of wax is occasionally held up to the light and examined.

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