The month of April will, among other local attractions and items of interest, find the Clovis Carver Library hosting a group show by our local art society, Pintores.
The theme of that show is anything relating to Clovis, and I hope you may take time to view it, and the work of our local artists. For me, it leads into some thoughts about the value of art in public places.
Another opportunity for that sort of presentation will take place in a few weeks, courtesy of the Portales Arts Council, in the town square of our neighboring community. That particular event will be, literally, ON the town square, as it involves kids from K- college and chalk art on the sidewalks by the courthouse. For older kids, this is a competitive event, but people under sixth grade draw just for fun. The date for this public art event is April 13, and the theme is sci-fi and fantasy.
I believe that art is meant for public spaces, meant to reveal the vision of the artist to the world at large. If you have a prophetic statement to make through your medium, as many abstract and impressionistic visionaries do, then make it loud and proud. If you see yourself as artist in the role of the guardian of tradition, (like the traditional woodcarver who is writing this column!), then make sure others can view the message of your heritage.
The above two views don't necessarily contradict one another; they are just two ways of approaching the same beauty. If you think about it, in spiritual life, we have a place for both the prophetic and the priestly or traditional. Neither is invalid.
Either way, what good is it to have an artistic light, if you hide it under a bucket?
- Statues, whether they commemorate great events, or just great creativity.
- Displaying the works of local artists in stores, coffee shops, restaurants, as they do so capably in towns like Santa Fe.
- Topiary, along with other forms of landscaping and garden art.
- Artists and artisans working in open air locations, such as city parks, where people can see, interact, and learn.
- Music in outdoor venues, street theatre, whether to entertain or with a profound message.
- Performance art.
- Public poetry readings.
Any and all of the above are expressions are ways of doing art in the public. Whether the purpose is to inspire, to confront, to entertain, or some of the above combined, it's an amazing part of what it means to be human.
Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at: