Hello <<First Name>>,
I’m delighted to share this September 2016 edition of Arts Awareness E-Newsletter with you. I sincerely hope you find it helpful as you play an active role in all your creative efforts. Please feel free to share it with others who might be interested, and if you know someone who may want to receive this newsletter monthly, please let them know how to sign up through www.artsawareness.com.
Arts at the Olympics
The Olympic games regularly display the culture of the host country. Artists are featured in opening ceremonies, the works of local artists are displayed throughout the Olympic Village and city, and official posters are reflective of the creativity of the host country. But most people are unaware that in the first four decades of the modern games, official medals were awarded for painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music, along with those for the athletic competitions. The works in those artistic competitions were inspired by sports. Richard Stanton, author of The Forgotten Olympic Art Competitions,dug throughold files from the International Olympic Committee archives in Switzerland to uncover the story behind the rise and fall of the practice.
Apparently Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee and the modern Games, viewed art competitions as an essential part of his vision for the Olympics. According to Stanton, the Baron felt that a true Olympian would be someone who was a well-rounded athlete but also skilled in some aspect of the arts. The juried art competitions, according to Stanton, were abandoned in 1954 because artists were considered to be professionals, while Olympic athletes were required to be amateurs.
Creativity and artistic endeavors have a mission that goes far beyond just making music for the sake of music.
~ Herbie Hancock
It’s interesting to consider this collaboration of athletic and artistic skill. The most glaring difference between athletics and art is that there are no clear cut winners in arts-related competitions. The judgment regarding value is based on a subjective evaluation rather than winning the race or performing a series of maneuvers according to a prescribed set of requirements and point-based skills. The artistic process is reflective and inspired, and it’s expressed through the deep inner experience of the artist. Creating art provides a rich experience for the artist that can’t be measured in points. As a result, a person who makes or performs art has an opportunity to reap unparalleled benefits that go well beyond a winning medal. Participation in the artistic thinking process gives artists the skills to approach the deep knowledge of life experience with the awe and wonder of a child. The arts provide an abundant natural environment in which to grow and thrive. While the arts are no longer included in medal competitions, they add richness to the Olympic events and remind all of us of the value of deeply reflective thought and expression.
The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.
~ Julia Cameron