Support The Arts…please

Dear Friends and Laura,

The other day I received news that a wonderful business in Charleston is closing.  Andrea Schenck at Plum Elements Gallery has hosted not only my work in group exhibits and a solo exhibit, but also the collaborative work Laura and I created last Fall.  I know, times are hard for everyone…but I wanted to make mention of this passing as a way to open up a conversation/awareness of what the regular joe/jane can do.  It is my hope that those who read this blog and appreciate the arts will make some sort of action to reflect that appreciation.  You might say “I don’t have any money to buy artwork/theatre tickets/music tickets/dance/etc”, but there a many other actions to take to send the message to your local community that the arts MATTER.

First, a list of WHY the arts matter (written by Elliot Eisner –these are written in an educational context to demonstrate why the arts matter to our humanity not just our finances, although the creative people are generating a lot of money for the city…but that is for another post)

  • how to make good judgments about qualitative relationships
  • that problems can have more than one solution
  • (celebrate) multiple perspectives
  • that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity
  • (make vivid) the fact that neither words in their literal form nor number exhaust what we can know.
  • that small differences can have large effects
  • to think through and within a material
  • how to learn how to say what cannot be said
  • to have experience that can be had from no other source

Read more at Suite101: Elliot Eisner’s 10 Lessons: Why The Arts Are Important to the Wider Curriculum

How about some ACTIONS to show your support for the arts:

  • Go HERE to see how you can take TWO minutes to tell congress that you support the arts with the amazing organization Americans for the Arts
  • Look up when your local area is having an art walk night, and get out!  Charleston’s is this Friday night.
  • Attend free concerts in the park or at your public library.  Not only will you be happy to get out, but your presence will signal to the higher-ups that there is a demand for the arts.
  • Farmer’s Markets in your area are filled with local crafts, fine arts, and home goods along with music performances at pretty affordable rates.
  • Investigate what your local/regional creative folks are up to through websites like this: Charleston Art Coalition
  • Buy a book from your local independent book seller about an artist (or get it from the library)

I am sure everyone out there has more suggestions about how we can support the arts (and the businesses that support the arts) in this economy, so please leave your comments.  You might spark an idea in another town across the country.

Thank you Andrea for always supporting a strong and talented crew of artists at Plum Elements.  I know Andrea has plans for a party in a few weeks, so those of you who are local, keep your ears open.  I know I will definitely be there.



We appreciate your support

and hope that you will stop by or phone to get that item you’ve long been thinking about, before the doors close. Your kind reception and warm encouragement of the offerings and space Plum Elements has provided have meant a lot. The last three and a half years have gone by in a blink. Thanks for helping to make it all possible.

Beginning this week, items will be reduced as we take steps to close Plum Elements on King Street. Many thanks again.

Plum Elements, LLC
161 1/2 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401

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6 thoughts on “Support The Arts…please

  1. I’m so sad to see such an impact on a gallery in Charleston. I thought that it would surely survive in a place like Charleston. I wonder, though, how much support and exposure they received through social media. Today, if you’re not seen across a spectrum of places, it’s more difficult to survive.

    I’m so glad to see the lovely post you made for your friends in Charleston, and I, too, wish them the very best with hope that they will rally again.

  2. Sorry to read of this loss. You stated the reasons on point. We all need the reminder of how we can be active in the arts. Thanks Tina & good luck to Andrea.

  3. Tina, This post was heartfelt and well written. Please send Andrea my best. I will definitely be taking my “two minutes” to show my support with Americans for the Arts. I also plan to investigate other local arts nights. We had our first wednesday art stroll in Westerly, RI last night and there were a lot of people buzzing about the new space for ACGOW the Artist’s Cooperative Gallery I am a member of. It was the first opening in our new gallery which is four times the size of our old one. The excitement was infectious and nice to see. Maybe there is hope? love ya! Laura

  4. this was an awesome post, especially where many of the actions you’ve listed are clear and very simple to do (the library’s an especially good one as they typically offer many creative programs, supplies, etc that folks aren’t always aware of)…i am always telling people, use it or lose it — the more we use what’s out there for us, the more we are sending a message to the “bean counters” that we need these services…

  5. Thanks Tina for your warm words about Plum Elements and the thoughtful ideas about one can do to engage in and support the arts. I’m looking forward to reading Eisner’s 10 points.
    I’d like to add a few to the list, none are original with me but what I’ve learned along the way…

    • A wise friend started a monthly art budget so that he had money at year’s end to make a significant purchase. Whether it’s $20 (sacrifice a latte once a week) or $100 put some money aside and watch it grow.
    • If you love a piece of art, talk to the gallery about payment plans. Before I began Plum Elements, I had the joy of watching a young man (mid 20s) make his final payment on his first purchase of art. He was thrilled. This inspired me to offer the same opportunity for others.
    • Cultivate your children’s interest in art… go to galleries, visit museums once a month or once a quarter. Engage them. Ask what they see, what they like and why. Have them tell you a story about the piece… what they see in it. Some of my most interesting conversations about art have been with children.
    • Buy art for your children! One customer’s parents bought him a work of art for his birthdays and Christmas, knowing other gifts and toys would come from grandparents and others. Think about what you spend on toys at Christmas or birthdays? Also consider what is being played with a year or two years later? Now in his 40’s, this man has an incredible, cherished collection that illustrates his childhood and teenage years.

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