Media, Arts and Democracy

SWe are influenced daily by the online media, blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds and a myriad of ways in sharing content.  New and influential media-distribution channels have appeared in the 21st century delivered via the World Wide Web across the Internet. The media plays a role in asserting what is in the public’s best interest, and sways public perception on what is good or what is bad, what is acceptable and what is not, what is art or what is not art, who is an artist and who is not. In terms of the arts, the media can influence the arts positively or adversely depending on how the information is shared and presented to the public. Hence, there is a question of how the public perspective is swayed to perceive the arts.

In a cultural democracy, the arts are the fabric of society and there is a tension regarding how information and the arts are represented. Artists, cultural workers, and creative people are regularly in the quest for cultural democracy. In the aim to democratize the arts, the media plays a vital role, as the voice of media is often heard by the citizens who follow them. For creative workers, the fulfillment of a long-standing desire to bring together artist and the community is the hope that the media can offer. If the media decides to raise the voices of those artists they choose to, the artists will be heard. If the media decides to speak on behalf of the cultural community, the art community will be heard as well. However, this is a double edge sword as the arts and the mainstream population often perceive the arts and culture an ‘elitist’ endeavour. Although the media draws from a multidisciplinary fields (i.e. sociology, politics, economics) to narrate their issues; there is scarce coverage on favour of the discipline of the arts in this country. If the arts are featured, popular newspapers, such as the Globe and Mail or the National Post, or the Toronto Star opt to feature scandalous issues or controversial works of art. For the most part these divisive issues become headlines, affecting the public perceptions of what art is all about, limiting participation and building the stereotype in the arts field. As a result, only a few citizens get to enjoy the arts because only the very few understand it. As for the rest, unbeknownst to many, the arts are placed in the periphery.

Arts in the Periphery

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Marko Stout and his Chelsea Girls: Fierce & Independent

Portrait of a beautiful teenager in jeans shorts posing outdoors sexyMarko Stout is a multimedia artist and film director based in New York City, known for his fierce depictions of the contemporary urban female. In his newest series, “Chelsea Girls” the women are alienated from their abstracted city backgrounds, seemingly unaware of the industrial grit and fast-paced energy of their surroundings.

In “Chelsea Girls,” Marko offers a window into the essence of city life, while blending in a burst of female vigor. As we are plunged into this obscure scene, we become lost in the electric colors and dynamic brushstrokes, which ignite against the women’s organic sensuality. Continue reading

Glass Artist and Sculptor–Tommy James Cudmore

Tommy CudmoreCoolRobos started his professional artistic career at 17 using acrylic, a clear plastic material that shares certain attributes with glass. Eventually realizing acrylic has limitations which glass does not, he applied to Sheridan College for Glassblowing. After his first year at Sheridan he acquired a residency at “The Red Barns” glass studio in Picton, Ontario. There he discovered his love of teaching the material to newcomers. Following his second year of education at Sheridan Tommy moved to Campbell River, British Columbia to work at “Tideline Gallery” as a lampworker and furnace blower. There he gained a new appreciation for technique, the material, and the studio environment. His organized and meticulous glassblowing style has given him many opportunities including assisting some of Canada’s most well-known glassblowers. After only eight years of working with the material he is a self-employed glass sculptor and full time resident of the Living Arts Center in Mississauga Ontario. Continue reading

Julien’s Auctions Supports Street Art!

Banksy-no

Julien’s Auctions has quickly established itself as the premier auction house in high profile celebrity and entertainment auctions. Julien’s Auctions supports street artists, and this year is celebrating the exclusive works of graffiti artist, Banksy.

Art collectors from around the globe have the chance to bid on several highly sought after Banksy art pieces, including Bomb Hugger- a two-tone stencil on a cardboard placard, featuring a girl hugging an aerial bomb above the caption “NO.” The stencil was created by Banksy and carried in London during the international anti-war protest in February, 2003, believed to be the largest anti-war rally in human history. Continue reading