Art’s political power derives…from having no pragmatic application. It can’t fix the world…It stands for itself, it confronts our imagination and our intellect, and so it shapes our capacities as free citizens…If I seek out art in a time of national catastrophe…it’s because I need to be reminded what to live for.
Jason Farago, art critic at the New York Times, July 2020
Like Jason Farago, many of us have turned even more assiduously to art during the annus horribilis that is 2020.
In addition to staying centered by working in my studio, I assembled an artist-centric digital collective–Pell Lucy–that currently operates on Instagram and Artsy. I wanted to explore new ways to bring art making and art viewing closer together.
The question I keep asking is, how do we move art from being a noun to being a verb?
Arting. It is fluid, dynamic, alive. As my friend Jon Sakata writes, “there are no nouns (things or thing-ness), only an infinite array of actions and the open Whole of dynamic relations between actions.”
In her short but provocative book, Everything is a Verb, Soren Kerk dismantles “noun-ness:”
Books become verbs while we are in the midst of reading them…Before you dive into a book, it is a thing—a noun, not a verb…But as you read it (if it’s a good book,) it comes alive, it moves, it grows, it pulls, it pours, it confounds, it tickles. Other times, when you are done or have put it aside, it might become a noun again…But as you love it, it shines and remains alive each time you become conscious of it.
I make art, but I also surround myself with art made by others. Like Kerk’s books, they come alive, move, grow, pull, pour, confound, tickle. They live with me because we are verbing, deeply, together. (You can view my collection here.)
Arting can partner with other verbs, like giving. So Pell Lucy has linked up with two other digitally based artist collectives—Spliced Connector and ODETTA Digital—to create a fundraising art auction. Using Instagram as the platform, the Fair Share Art Auction features nearly 60 works of art, all priced to be very affordable. Half the final price is donated to a selected charity (a complete list is below) and half goes to the artist.
Bidding begins on October 18 and continues for 10 days, through October 28. Please stop in and take a look at @fairshareartauction. (You do need an Instagram account to view the site, but that’s easy to do.)
Charities being supported: