On my recent vacation, we spent a couple days in Asheville, NC, which is one of the centers of art culture in the state. I just wanted to take a few moments to appreciate that about Asheville, and talk more generally about what I mean by art culture, and how I find it wherever I go.
First, what do I mean by art culture?
This isn’t just an artsy way to say “art and culture” or a trendy phrase I picked up somewhere. To me, art culture, is a way of life, a way of being, and a way of being in community with others. Art, as I’m using it here, is a very broad term that encompasses almost any creative endeavor. That can be the art of cooking, the art of weaving, the art of book binding, the art of painting, the art of writing, the art of making, the art of architecture, and anything and everything in between.
So what I mean by art culture, is a person, place, or community, that embraces that definition of art and the support of art and everything that comes along with it. This might mean having accessible studio space in a community, a university providing free materials for students to use in their maker spaces, a local community willing to pay artists for their work with an understanding of how time intensive it is to make, or a local business that encourages art related groups to come and meet there even if it doesn’t lead to extra revenue for them.
Asheville is a great example of the broad definition of art culture.