Creative conversations episode 1: Defining ‘professional’ art
Creative Spaces presents Creative Conversations, a series of talks about careers in arts.
Jersey’s art sector appears to be poised for a renaissance. An unprecedented display of support from the government has stirred a tentative sense of hope in local creatives, and a flood of new energy and ideas seems to have washed ashore with the profusion of artistic expats who returned seeking refuge in their island home during the pandemic.
Jersey has a strong history of creative penchant, but paradoxically many islanders seem to remain in the dark about what goes into pursuing a career in the arts.
Creative Conversations at the Jersey Public Library will be a series of mediated discussions with local creative professionals that aims to shed a little light on the subject. Each week we will hear from a different panel on topics such as professional standards, vocational training, funding, management, marketing, and production. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and contribute comments, with the goal of initiating an open and continuing dialogue about what it means to be an artist in Jersey’s current cultural landscape.
In our first session, ArtHouse Jersey’s Carrie Cooper will be speaking with opera singer Emilia Lacy (nee Pountney), blues harmonicist Giles Robson, and painter Jason Butler on the topic of defining professional art.
Leo Tolstoy called art “a means of union among men”. Oscar Wilde identified it as “the most intense mode of individualism the world has known.” When even the definition of the field itself can be contradictory, how do we even begin to go about defining what makes an artist “professional”? Fee negotiations, income taxes, immigrations policies, tracking economic benefits, applying for grants, and so many other important issues depend on the ability to make this distinction. Proving that one is a serious, professional artist matters more than just bragging rights or the ability to insist to your parents that you do have a “real job”. In a world where entire production casts have been laid off, NFTs sell for millions, and anyone with an internet connection can become a published author, how do we decide what it means to be a professional artist?
Creative Spaces is a programme of free events taking place in beautiful, historic, unusual, overlooked, or quirky spaces in Jersey.
This programme, delivered by the Creative Island Partnership, aims to give a boost to the public arts and music scene after the pandemic, and to broaden the public imagination around how spaces can incorporate the arts.