“art and families have something in common— they are ultimately defined by both their inherent composition and the relationships between their parts.”
The Paradox that is the Art Community
You would think that in a field that receives so much discrimination and is frequently devalued that they would be more conscientious of doing so within their own field. Art is the bottom of the food chain— thank you other majors for reminding us. So why must we discriminate and rank ourselves within that field?
Are some art fields better than others? I know the messages I receive are that BFA’s are top dog. Art education often seems to be second to students who are just “pure” BFA students— despite the fact, I might point out, we have a greater breadth of classes required to complete our program. Next is applied art - architecture, design, advertising. And then there is art therapy. Oh dear god why on earth would you do art therapy? It doesn’t pay well, you already have basket cases in class, its hard, its taxing, god its an awful choice. A professor once told a friend of mine it’s a waste of talent. You are too talented to waste it on being an art therapist. Sure its altruistic but…
So I keep my mouth shut. You want to know something entertaining. This woman is my academic adviser. And if she had ever stopped to ask me what I want to do after school in just one academic advising meeting she would know that this is what I want to do. And I already knew she thought this, and its exactly why I don’t plan on ever discussing my post grad plans with her. I don’t care if the pay sucks, I don’t care if its hard. I think it would be the most rewarding thing for me to do. And it doesn’t reflect my talent or ability. And it doesn’t mean I am less of an artist. Art is about personal exploration and growth. What better way than through that to let someone work through emotional distress and confusion.
So thank you to anyone who has ever told me art therapy is inferior, that it is a dying field. Thank you to the professors who have openly gone on and on, some of them responding to me stating that it was my passion, about what an awful choice it is. Thank you for the motivation to try even harder, to work even more towards my goal of earning a masters in art therapy, of practicing it, opening my own practice, and making an impact, loving what I do, and still being a “real” artist. Thank you for giving me the drive to prove you wrong.
And thank god for Frank.
*This is a personal rant that does not accurately portray all professors and artists viewpoints and I am aware that an individual’s opinions are not fact