Artists are the society’s mirror, commentators, advocates, cultural monitors and enlightener. Not everyone is an artist or can be an artist. One can be literate in the Arts through the improvement and development of educational programs. Then some enlightenment can result by establishing a deeper understanding of Australian culture through the Arts.
What makes an artist is elusive and if found and fostered by like minded creative people two rewards stand to be gained. The first is economic and the Second is culturally enrichment. By supporting artists, galleries, art institutions and out of the box art initiatives that allow Australian artists to show case their work here and overseas, we are adding to the economy and the culture and heritage of this nation.
I was an Artist- in- Resident in a State Primary School for over 10 years. I am fortunate enough to still come in contact with some of the children I mentored in Visual Art. 8 year old children that had a talent and a deep sensitivity to the Visual Arts, told me they were going to be artists when they grew up. Those children were true to their word. To be frank and honest without the school’s progressive principal supporting the Arts at the time I doubt it would have been such an easy transition and positive experience for those children who now as young adults became graphic designers, architects and visual artists. I saw what the Visual Arts can do for self esteem; mental health; self expression and understanding one’s own culture and other cultures. Therefore I am an advocate for the teaching and appreciation of the Arts in schools.
Community arts is an area where if fostered, as in schools, genius can shine through. There is a need to see that Arts projects can come from the grass root level. Constituents need not be marginalised to benefit from community arts. For example I started a community knitting art project called Landscape of Resilience. This project made positive impact on all participants and was open to everyone. I want to reiterate, I am a single artist with a vision and a following.
Chrys Zantis, Visual Artist and Community Arts Practictioner
You can read more about Chrys Zantis here
The Australian Governments National Cultural Policy can be read here