I have a postcard that sits on the wall next to my desk, it says, "Art Is The New Rock'N Roll" and I believe those words to be true. Just as music is an expression of the world around us, contemporary art is a reflection of our times.
Ai Weiwei is probably most famous for this. Over the past decade, he has used his art as a means to express his dissatisfaction with the Chinese government, his vision of freedom of speech and his cheeky sense of humour. His art is accessible, usually easily understood and he has gained a huge global following.
To find out what really makes contemporary art cool, I spoke with Jill Henderson, Marketing and Communications at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver.
The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is a non-profit public art gallery dedicated to the research, exhibition, education and documentation of contemporary visual art as it is practiced locally through to internationally. It aspires to generate significant audiences for its innovative and diverse programs through free access and a profile that is international in scope.
The CAG is the longest standing independent public art gallery dedicated to presenting contemporary visual art in Vancouver. They will be hosting their 27th Annual Gala and Art Auction on Nov. 7 at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.
Jill shared with me her top ten reasons for why contemporary art is cool.
1: It challenges our expectations of what and how we encounter life.
2: Contemporary art is an outlet for our spiritual and political beliefs.
3: The arts transform environments for learning.
4: An innovative and creative workforce is essential in today's knowledge-based creative economy.
5: Children and youth involved in after school arts programs have better adult outcomes than those involved in sports or community service.
6: We believe that today's knowledge based, post industrial societies require citizens with confident, flexible intelligences, creative verbal and non-verbal communication skills, abilities to think critically and imaginatively, intercultural understandings and an empathetic commitment to cultural diversity. Exposure to contemporary art builds all of those skills.
7: Contemporary art and ideas open our minds and helps us to think critically.
8: Contemporary art and ideas help us to learn from our experiences and learn about ourselves and society.
9: Contemporary art and ideas helps us to learn about other cultures and encourages diversity.
10: Through its mandate the CAG is concerned essentially with the encouragement of a greater appreciation of contemporary art. We are actively involved in making opportunities for people who would not otherwise have the enjoyment and benefit of working with visual art, arguably the free-est of all art forms.
Art will continue to inspire me to look at life in different ways and to gain a new understanding of the world around me.
Your suggestions are always welcome as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest. Let's have the very best 2015!
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