Saturday, November 05, 2011

I'm sitting in Medley's Cafe in Prattsburgh, NY listening to Lisa Bigwood singing her songs to an audience of 35-40 people, which is about how many the restaurant will hold. The art on the walls are original pieces by a local artist who has already sold several of the framed acrylic-on-canvas pieces.

What strikes me most about all this is that art, in many forms of expression, is alive and well in small-town America. For every huge rock group selling out stadiums to screaming fans, there are dozens of garage bands playing gigs at local bars and taverns. For every record contract handed out by big-name producers, there are hundreds of musicians making CDs and performing live at festivals and cafes. For every superstar author on the bestseller lists, there are thousands of writers meeting readers and signing books at local, independent bookstores. 

The future of our artists lies in these small venues. It's in places like this where we can get up close and personal and where we can look into the singer's eyes as she sings, where we can hold a conversation with the artist or the author, where we can purchase their CDs or artwork or books and know the money goes directly to the artist. It is here where stardom takes a backseat to artistry and where talent can be given the freedom to share their artistic visions. It is here where the magic between artist and audience happens on a daily basis.

Do I have a point to all this tonight? Not really. More musings and observations than points to be made. I do think the artistic community would be better served there were more smaller venues and fewer arena-type Superdomes. For one thing, audiences would have a wider variety of artists to experience rather than just a few who start to sound/look the same after a while. And if there were more venues, artists would benefit by having more places to play/show their work/sell their books. A win for audiences and artists alike!

Okay, done musing for the night. Wrote 2287 words total today (1904 on my novel. Would've written more, but went to Medley's for inspiration instead!). Remember to turn your clocks back if you're in the States.

Play safe -- and support your local artists!

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