Friday, 2 December 2011

raising the status of art and craft?

How do we raise the status of studying artistic rather than pure academic subjects? There has been much discussion recently about how society values academic vs tacit knowledge, skills minister John Hayes said "In my view, the skills of a bricklayer are in no way less admirable and certainly no less hard-won than those of a stockbroker. Matt Crawford's book "The case for working with your hands" made a similar case but how do we convince parents and bright kids that a career in the arts, crafts or trades is a viable choice and not something for academic low achievers?

I just came across this wonderful witty ad campoaign for the College for Creative Studies in Detroit mimicking anti drugs campaigns. Entertaining and makes the point but does it reinforce the image, challenge it or change it?

“Talk to your kids about art school”

1 in 5 teenagers will experiment with art
I found this in your room. We need to talk
Doodling is a gateway to illustration
How long have you been Photoshopping?
Your son has been sculpting again
Know the warning signs of art
Your mother and I raised you better than this


  1. What a fantastic and witty campaign. I'm very lucky in the sense that my parents were and still are very supportive of my art. I remember when i told my parents i was going back into Art College at the age of 29, they said, "thank goodness your finally using that brilliant brain of yours", they recognized the parallel with intelligence and art, it's sad that a lot of parents don't see that.

  2. "But how do we convince parents and bright kids that a career in the arts, crafts or trades is a viable choice and not something for academic low achievers?"

    As modern human beings we are driven by money and therefore the case and ultimate goal for academia (more often than not)is money. Whereas the case for bricklaying for example (if driven by the same desire) is less attractive. But one only needs to look around in any city, village or town to see the achievements of bricklayers of the present and the past. I have the utmost admiration for builders in general, for with out them we'd still be living in caves and I would argue that you have to anything but stupid to be any good at it. Skilled craftsmen such as stone masons and carpenters, were revered in the past because people realised how much they needed them - guess what we still need them as much today and so there value has not diminished. It's about attitude and perception, change that and we have something to work with.

  3. Thanks for the comments Lynsey and Gillian

  4. I love these. I am lucky that I come from a creative family (two of my aunts are art teachers, my uncle is a furniture designer and my cousin is a graphic designer) so I had their support but my school was very academic and they definitely looked down on art courses.