With the holiday season upon us, it is a good time to reflect on all the things for which we are grateful. The biggies come first – family, health, friends, shelter, sustenance, and whatever else is at the foundation of your well-being.
Among the many important things to include on your gratitude list is your art community. This will mean something a bit different for everyone. For some, it will be organizations, like the Women’s Caucus for the Arts, that create community through art, education, exhibitions, grants, and social activism. For others, it will be one or more of the wide array of other groups too numerous to list here that foster, educate, and support artists in diverse disciplines.
Whether you are passive or participate actively, your involvement in the art community really matters. All artists face challenges at different points in their journeys. The obstacles can be creative, financial, opportunities to have work exhibited, and even something as basic as feeling welcome.
So, there is no better time than now to express gratitude for and within your art community. Whether or not you are buying gifts this year, it can be as simple as reaching out to any art friends you think may be struggling under the stress of our challenging world. Your time and generous spirit is something money cannot buy.
For those who are celebrating with tangible gifts, buying art from local artists makes a real difference. We are lucky to have so many talented artists in the greater Washington metropolitan area – potters, painters, sculptors, photographers, weavers, woodworkers, jewelers, printmakers, metal workers, mosaic artists, glassmakers, and more. Whatever your budget, there is something hand made by a local artist for the special people in your life. And when you buy from those artists, they then have more resources to continue to make art and buy local from other artists. That positive momentum is uplifting, and also necessary for the survival of local artists.
So in this season of giving, when you think of buying local, include artists on your short shopping list. Your purchases will be blessings to artists facing difficult times. Your gift recipients will be pleased to receive something unique and hand made, chosen by you just for them. And you will be blessed for your kindness and for having made a difference in your art community in a way that really matters.