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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Shorts

In an era when the arts and arts education are in jeopardy, it feels like a small act of resistance not only to support the arts with dollars, attendance, teaching, and respect of artists’ rights, but also to keep making art and instigating conversations about the arts in the public sphere. To me, using our imaginations, minds, hearts, souls to create and manifest ideas in whatever artistic form of expression deeply reveals us and our times matters, a lot.

Especially now, I want to keep conversations about, and the inspiration to create, art alive in my everyday life. That’s why, among other things, I’m starting a new weekly blog called Art & Soul Shorts. Each Friday (starting 1/27) I will offer an open content art image (whether painting, print, photo, etc.), along with a short prose piece (whether poetry, nonfiction, or fiction) that I produced that very week in response to the selected art. I hope this approach will offer my blog readers inspiration to use the art image, my writing, or both as a sort of prompt to create something of their own (whether visual or in writing) and, if they wish, share it in the Disqus Comments or share links to their own blogs or websites.

This way, we might engage in a collaborative creative flow and keep conversation about the arts alive.

Keep in mind: 1) I have set a 350-word max for any Art & Soul Short that I write. (Of course, creativity sometimes can't be restrained and rules must be broken.) Please try to at least use the word count as a goal for any piece you share or post a link to on this blog. 2) This is NOT a workshop zone. No advice or criticism. Only positive comments (e.g., “Your lovely poem reminds me of so-and-so’s poetry collection called…”) and/or sharing of your creative work (e.g., “This painting inspired me to make this watercolor which is on my blog: link here”).

Per guidelines and my own, absolutely no disrespectful or mean comments will be allowed. Our world currently has enough online and public vitriol. Don’t you think?

Now for some art…

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