I stumbled across a blog post from a local artist, Connie Andrews, that talked about Bad Art Night. You can read the post here.
Connie's post talks about how the term "Bad Art" bothers her and she uses her writing to process through to the conclusion that calling combining the term "bad" with "art" is wrong.
"Deliberately creating bad art does not "free" you-it locks you into the idea of creating something that you and everyone around you considers substandard. It locks you into all the negative connotations that are associated with the word "BAD". Its a cheapening of your art and Art in general."
I like that as a fellow artist, Connie is challenging me. She states right in the top of the post that her comments are likely going to be controversial and possibly lose her some students.
And, I feel stung when she says Bad Art Night is a fad and nothing more than a social gathering.
"One last point: Bad Art night is not Art, its a social gathering. What's wrong with a social gathering? Nothing. But why not gather in the name of good art or Heart and Soul night or something with positive overtones"
While it is new in Half Moon Bay - only 6 months since we started these meetings, it is more than a social gathering, and it's been going strong in St. Paul MN where artist Laurie Phillips and her writer husband Jon Spayde started BAN more than 16 years ago. Up to 10-15 artists come every week and I hear one story after another with positive statements about how artists are expanding their horizons:
- Photographers expand into painting and drawing and then see their photography in a new light.
- Fiber artists work now in three dimensions on collaged boxes.
- Mixed media collage artists discover new techniques and ways to express ideas on paper.
- People with no art experience or confidence whatsoever are trying watercolor and collage and experiencing success without the pressure of having to create masterpieces from the get-go.
I welcome Connie to come to Bad Art Night so we can get to know one another and so she can experience it for herself. Meet us fellow artists and try it before concluding "bad" is bad. The last thing in the world we need is for our opinions about art to divide us. For me, art is about collaborating and uniting. Artists and their art are what is going to heal the world.