Hi & welcome! This is the blog I am calling "The Art Caravan". I am Sarah Elek, and I recently graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. I have happily chosen to continue living, working, and art-making in Baltimore. By day I schlep coffee at the best cafe in the world, On the Hill, by weekend I teach the ArtKids PreK class at the Walters Art Musem (as well as various other fun-filled art activites at the Walters), and by night I make my art and write my blogs here on the inter-web. I also do a lot of reading, cooking, gardening, yoga-ing, and various fun things with my friends & family.
So now that you know all about me, I'm sure the next two big questions on your mind are: what is this blog about and why is Sarah taking time out of her busy, broke, post-graduate life to write it for me & the world?
Here are the answers to the what & the why in no particular sensical order:
To put it one way, this blog is an attempt to use my degree in Art History and practice writing. To put it another way, I love to make art, read about art, look at art, write about art, you name it- so much so that I got a degree in it!- and now I want to share what I know with all of you. I am passionate about art and passionate about teaching other people about art, hopefully inspiring them to be passionate about art too!
Too often, I hear people (I am being vague here, I know, but I'm not calling out anyone in particular, so just trust me: there are people, many of them) lamenting about art: they don't get it, they find it boring, they think a five year old could have done it, they think their kid is too young or they're too old to learn about it, or they just generally think art is something that is only accesible for some elitist, snobby group of "art people" that they're not a part of and don't want to be a part of. Not only do they not "get" it, this lack of understanding leads them to question the meaning and point of art, and often leads them away from the topic entirely.
Do no be offended if this description of "people" does not refer to you: I am aware that many, many people do love art, that they make it or look at it and love it, teach it and devote themselves or parts of their lives to it in many ways. But I don't want the general population to be divided in any way over art: the beauty of art is that it is accesible to everyone: everyone. Art is and should be a link between people, cultures, and attitudes, and should never be a divisor. Art can be anything and everything: it can be beautiful or ugly, it can make something that is beautiful ugly and something that is "ugly" beautiful. To truly look at art, and understand it (or not- art is not always about understanding), you have to first let go, open up, and try to enjoy it. But second, you have to learn new ways of perceiving and judging. Art can not always be approached the way one might approach math, or science, or a movie. It is closer in approach to literature or dance, but even from here it diverges. Art is trying to teach us all something bigger and greater about the human experience, its beauty and is problems, and there is almost always something we can learn or appreciate in any work of art, if we can let go of lines and distinctions- abstract, realistic, good, bad- and just look with our eyes, our minds, and our hearts (corny sounding, I know, but really I believe this is true and important).
So, very long story short, The Art Caravan will be my attempt to share and teach these things to anyone who wants to learn them. If you are already steeped in the traditions of art, maybe you will learn a new way of seeing something you've seen before, or maybe you'll discover a new artist you like, or anything along those lines. If you are new to art or have felt stumped by art in the past, hopefully you will learn to love, appreciate, and have fun with art. These are my intentions for this blog- to impart some of the knowledge I have, be it good or mediocre or even bad knowledge- to you & the world. Most importantly, though, I'd like to impart to you my passion for art.
To do this, I will be posting on all sorts of different things. These things are, but are not limited to, the following:
-"Spotlights" on different artists
-Art projects for the young and old
-"Reviews" of different shows that go on display in Baltimore ("Review" is a loose term- I will likely just inform and offer my opinion/thoughts/etc.)
-Art History 101 "Lessons"
I will post Mondays thru Fridays, and hopefully I will post at least a quote and a spotlight every day. I want to encourage anyone and everyone who reads this blog to comment on the posts they read with their thoughts, opinions, constructive criticism, and any other tidbits or connections they would like to share. A running dialogue on art, and the joys & frustrations of making & viewing art, is another intention I have for this blog that can only be achieved with your help!