Tuesday, November 15, 2016

#artistsforlove

Those of you who know me, personally or as online followers, know that I have always been about community and inclusivity. I have an impenetrable  - and perhaps naive - belief that we should all support and lift each other up.


I have always said that within our creative community, there is more than enough to go around for all of us. And that working together allows for all artists to grow, thrive and fuel our creativity. My blog, my books, and the many collaborative projects I have hosted have all been based on the concept that we are all equals. It has long been my pet peeve when I hear fine artists put down mixed media artists. Or mixed media artists put down crafters. Or _____ put down _____ (fill in the blanks). I believe in respect and, once again, that we are all equals.

This belief is not limited to the art community however. I carry it into the entire world. Support, love, acceptance, respect. A simple equation in my mind. I live in NYC which is one of the most diverse and inclusive places in the world. That is a big part of why I love it here and am planning on being here for life. But it sometimes acts as a bit of a bubble and it can be easy to forget that there are people out there who hold beliefs very different from my own. Perhaps that is one reason I have been so distressed by the level of hatred, bigotry and intolerance that this election has so clearly illuminated.

My approach to the world is usually carried out with actions and within my artwork -- and not as often with my voice. As an artist, expression and communication is behind everything I do and,
given the divisions that have been highlighted throughout the election, I feel I do have to use my words now.

In the last few years, the Internet has fostered an environment which has allowed people to hide within anonymity and say whatever they like. I have often been shocked and sickened by the hatred that seems to be prevalent in comments put online.

But I have always been so proud that our online art community has seemed to be immune from the vitriol that has been proliferating everywhere else and had somehow remained such a safe and encouraging space. Unfortunately, this election has been a seismic event that has put cracks into the safe space that has been the hallmark of our small but powerful community. Reading through  Facebook now makes me afraid rather than happy. And I know artists who have been bashed for posting artwork that expresses their anger and fears, as well as artists who are feeling so vulnerable that they are hesitating to post their work.

We are all individuals with complex experiences, unique ideas, personal histories, and our very own baggage. This guarantees that life will be complicated and challenging. However, this post stands as a reminder of the importance of support, love, acceptance and respect. Always. And the rejection of bigotry and intolerance to difference. Always.

For me, this is not about who voted for who -- although I know for many that cannot be dismissed. For me, this is about something bigger than the election. This is about taking an individual step toward a collective healing. Naive? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely.

In that vein, a group of artists have created the hashtag #artistsforlove. Use it, embrace it, share it. I first read about it here and then here. Take the time to click the links and see how you can join this movement and create your own poster that celebrates rather than diminishes inclusivity and love. I leave you with my poster below and hope you will join the conversation - with love and respect - in the comment section to this post

70 comments:

Wisher said...

Beautiful words both in your blog post and your art - thank you x

Karen Nein said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Seth. Thank you for sharing ❤️

donna joy said...

well written- I pretty much stay off facebook now because my views are not the same as most of my artist friends. Sadly the campaign twisted words that were said-or took them out of context- then repeated comments so much that they were taken as "fact" (good example of why people need to research and see the whole) I think in part, the protesting (the younger ones) is due to the generation that grew up with all winners. No one could lose because we might hurt their little feelings. Sports teams had no losers/no score. Yep, that worked out well in the real world. :)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am not on Facebook or any other social media site except blogger and the blogging community. But I am catching it from both sides as I have real world friends from both parties who are trying to inundate me with their wrath of the person who won, and those who are doing so with their wrath and hatred of the person who lost.

Although I don't make a big deal of it, I'm a Libertarian and see good (and not so good) in both major political parties. One thing I don't understand is how those who believe in the 2nd Amendment (which I do) don't believe a woman has the right to choose what happens in her own body (which I do). They don't seem to understand they are both choices and choices that should be accepted and respected on both sides of the fence.

Thanks for sharing this. I'll be joining you soon, I hope with my #artists for love art.

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing your words Seth. This is such a difficult time and a challenge to all of us. I look forward to seeing you in 2017 and making art.

Xanapan said...

Eloquently written and expressed. Whole heartedly agree on the support, love, acceptance and respect. I think all that each of us can do is be the best person we can, to embrace others, try to be positive and make a difference to others. This will always outshine the haters.

Squiddy said...

Hear! Hear! One can but hope that this becomes a catalyst for more nice people to stand up and make themselves known. Though I could wish you hadn't referred to the election as a "seismic event" - here in Middle Earth the drums haven't stopped reverberating since 12.02am Monday!

Lenna Young Andrews said...

Thank you Seth, I needed to read this and will go to those links. So appreciated ♡

Gina Pisello said...

Thank you Seth for speaking up. I have been vasilating between anger and fear, but it is time to move on and I want to express my better angels. I will try to use my art in positive ways.

Debi Adams said...

Love your artwork, as always. I am so glad you spoke up though I'm certain it was difficult. Thank you for sharing. We all get to choose what we saddle ourselves with, love or hate. Too much energy and destruction for all parties to do the latter but love...Can one ever say he/she gave too much love? I think not.

oneartistjournal.com said...

Such heartwarming words, you are doing such an incredibly important job here on earth. So glad you are "using your words" now too. :)
So much gratitude and respect for you Seth! THANK YOU!!! Orly

Brenda Brown said...

Brilliantly written Seth, there is much healing to be done in the world and an artist movement that shares the love and support of each other whilst reaching out to embrace and lift everyone who needs to feel happy, secure, wanted and loved rather than frightened, persecuted, bullied and oppressed has to be the best way forward . Love your poster and the message it expresses. Long live community and inclusivity xxx

Anonymous said...

Beautifully expressed. I'm an Australian so only observing from afar, but the issues you raise are equally relevant here. I admire you for speaking out and love your poster.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Yes - we need community and inclusivity, I totally agree with you!
Your message on the artsy poster says it all!

Cindy said...

Beautiful, heartfelt words.
Thank you.

Maxine Boot said...

Expressing myself through the spoken and written word is very difficult for me. However, I feel in this instance Seth that you have seen into my mind and written for me. I'm in the UK and feel scared and worried too. I have felt that I'm powerless against global discontent- "what can little old me do?" Well may be this is it #artistsforlove? Although I've never posted any work online because I don't think it's good enough- lol! Another point you were making!! I'm making attempts to use FB solely for art purposes. I've whittled away at "friends" I've been following due to the many issues you have raised. I love FB for the very fact I can listen to people such as yourself. I love seeing your artwork and seeing places that you've been. Places that I will more than likely never visit. However, I dislike FB very much for being a platform for all the reasons you have stated. It's so easy to voice an opinion. It's so easy to spread negativity and anger. It's so easy to spread fear. I'm particularly worried for my children's (aged 23 and 22) generation. They are so reliant on social media. It is so easy to breed discontent. I stand with you shoulder to shoulder Seth and I will start the movement here #artistsforlove. Love to you and your readers.

Ann Isik said...

I am, like Maxine above, in the UK and there's been a parallel here between Brexit and the US elections. I have always thought that art is about love and in fact that artists have tremendous powers to mend and heal as a group. Individually, artists are vulnerable to attack because, a)our creativity is so obviously demonstrated and b)we are naturally more sensitive. I'm all for a movement that calls itself 'Artists for Love'. If hatred is 'in your face', then so should be Love. I've also always thought that hatred at source, is jealousy. Even my own artistic endeavours, puny and faltering as they are, have attracted negativity. Jealousy is about blocked creativity. Art can and does, mend and heal. I say, Yay! to Artists for Love. I say Yay! to creating right back at those who demonstrate their own blocked creativity with hatred. That includes politicians and those who crave power just for its own sake. Sorry about the speech. Thanks for this post, Seth. :)

Claudia N. said...

Words from the heart to the heart! Thank you, Seth!

Claudia x

Joanne said...

Beautiful seth. Thank you.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Thanks for your words Seth! None of us are immune, even those in other countries.

Ann Strecko Koeman said...

Seth, you and your art are beautiful. Thank you for contributing to making the world a beautiful place. As your Canadian friend and neighbour, it is disheartening to see what is happening in your great country. So many of us feel helpless and just want to embrace all of the US and encourage you to be accepting and loving. #artistsforlove

Lisa Greenbow said...

Soothing. Healing.
Thank you.

Wen Redmond said...

the beauty of the world may not be diminished by the political world for some but we need to take care of all. For we are all one, really. the time has come, forced out by the election for folks to stand up in whatever way they are able.
Thank you, Seth for this and pointing a way.

elle said...

Ah, Seth! One can surely lose one's naivety reading comments. I'd rather lose other things. If loving one another is too hard, perhaps we could begin by being kind to one another. Blessings to you, gentle soul. I am off to make art!

Jackie P Neal said...

Beautifully written from your warm heart & soul Seth! You speak it for many of us~
I recently left FB for some of those same reasons, and find comfort in the art world through other platforms.
I am very happy you have shared these links and I will proudly join along as we as artists will lead the way!
blessings #artistsforlove

ps Maxine Boot, share your art with us, I know I would love to see it and I am sure it is not only good enough, but fantastic! sending hugs to you!

Carol said...

So beautifully put and one of the reasons I like your blog so much. I truly believe art heals . Thankyou for helping us make feel less helpless by inviting us to join this movement and saying what we all feel.

Sharon Y said...

Thank You Seth. Well said. Your words have summed up how I have been feeling about going online. It is with fear on what I'm going to read next. So appreciate you being a unifying force. #artistsforlove

Dayna Collins said...

Thanks for being an art crusader, Seth. The bumper sticker on my car reads: Art Saves Lives, and I truly believe this. You've inspired me to make a piece of art for the #artistsforlove community project.

Poetryqn said...

Hear that? That's the sound of me clapping wildly. Bravo! I intend to plant myself in hope and positive action. When I was younger we used to say, 'think globally, act locally,' and that's what I intend to do. Just as importantly, I think we need to fully listen to people who disagree with us. I'm not talking about condoning hatred; I'm talking about trying to listen to what's going on beneath the surface. For me, that means asking questions of my good-hearted, well meaning friends who voted differently from me. I've found that their reasons are much more complex than the inflammatory rhetoric that characterized this American campaign. I really believe that respectful listening will allow us to find the common ground we share and build on that. At least that's my hope. Thanks for using your words, your art and your voice to spread hope, Seth.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Seth. What a great post. I love your poster and all it stands for.

Jane LaFazio said...

Loveisloveisloveislove
Thank you Seth. As usual, you expressed what I believe elequently in both words and art. While I, in order to cope, I cried, read mystery novels and bought karmic-protective-mystical bracelets on Etsy.
I am ready to act. I'm not sure how, yet. But #artistsforlove is a start. As is donaions to organizations that support those in jeopardy.
Thank you dear heart.

Robert said...

Thank you, Seth, for saying what needs to be said and expressing it so eloquently. I have, from day one, appreciated the respect and inclusivity that has always been a part of The Altered Page, both in your posts and in the comments your readers leave in response to them. Your #artistsforlove poster pretty much says it all! Thank you, once again, for all you do for the mixed media arts community, and far beyond!

goze said...

Thank you for expressing your views. I needed to hear that. I am coming out of my shock over the results of this election and the outpouring of hatred that now seems to permeate everything. I am thankful for the #artistsforlove movement. I will be contributing to it and other organizations that foster love, hope and positive change in correcting the tide of exclusivity and negativity that we now see. We can not let it become the norm. Caring and sharing will keep us sane and help to make changes. Thank you Seth and fellow artists.

bobbie said...

An absolutely beautiful post, Sir ~
Thank you for sharing ~

Cecile said...

As all the others here said better than I can say it.
Thank you so very much for your artwork and words Seth.
I will follow your links and will try to make my own poster for friendship and peace.
Thank you.

Anne O said...

Thank you for speaking out, Seth, with such beautiful and heart felt words. I will make a poster and post. Love rules!

Erica said...

Well said Seth! Here in the UK I also see the gaping split political decisions have caused. Social media has much to answer for as well as being a perfect tool to heal. For a while now I have thought the world needs more love!I will give #artisforlove a go.

Linda Ledbetter said...

What an awesome, proactive, POWERFUL post, Seth. Thanks for sharing your talent and positivity with us. #ArtistsForLove is exactly what so many of us need right now.

Geri deGruy said...

YES!

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

This post is a bright spot in my day. I wholeheartedly agree that we need respect for one another, as artists and as human beings. Each one of us is full of creative possibility and deserves to be given the chance to thrive. There is room in this big wide world for everyone! Thanks so much....I'm off to check out the links you shared. All the best, Patti

Deborah Wainwright said...

Oh Seth I totally agree! Like you I believed our creative community was a warm inviting place until recently. Experiencing recent behaviours directed at me, by people who I respected and even thought of as friends has left me feeling that for some, this community is no better than than the school playground.

I have learnt some very important lessons which I wish I didn't have to learn at 55, hoping I'd left behind the bullying, jealousy and general ugliness of childhood, but alas this was not to be. For me this is representational of the rest of the world, many of us have transcended this human need to put others down, to make themselves feel better, or to lie to themselves to make their actions palatable, but sadly many stay in this state blaming others for their behaviour.

My wish for the world is peace and love and with the words history I find it intolerable that in the 21 century many still behave the way the do.

Rant over, thank you for sharing your thoughts Seth and best wishes to you xx

Redanne said...

Very eloquently put Seth, I wish the whole world could read this post, your words make such sense! Thank you!

Kath Stewart said...

your positivity is what the world needs right now...sensible powerful words which touched my heart...I find it unbelieveable how people behave...there should be no place for hatred or discrimination of any kind in our modern day society...hugs kath xxx

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

You are the shining light Seth, beautifully written and thought provoking
Hugs
Donna xx

Crafty Humphreys said...

Wise words lovely man. We are all survivors in one-way or another. It's our empathy, tolerance and love that brings us together as humans. But our experiences of life, and others that can drive us apart. That's what I'll put on my poster. Suz (aka Surrey Crafts) Xxx

toni said...

Thank you Seth. It is so important that we respect one another. Although I am a firm believer in freedom of speech and expression, I have been in despair by some of the vitriolic comments and postings that have appeared during both the US election and our own EU referendum. They have exposed a very unpleasant seam of nastiness that exists in our society. We must do all we can to try and negate this. In the 60's and 70's our mantra was Peace and Love , after all this time it seems that we still haven't got the message. Xx

Heather Thompson said...

Beautiful. Thank you Seth.

Shelby Pizzarro said...

Thank you Seth for putting into words what so many of us are feeling. With respect and understanding we can move forward together.

Janette said...

You have spoken the words so many of us, as human beings, feel....we should all work together, we are one people, end of story....Thanks so much, united we can stand.xx

Candy C said...

Thank you Seth. Your words are as lyrical, heartfelt and as beautiful as your art. You so eloquently said what so many of us are feeling. This dark rabbit hole that so many otherwise loving, inclusive artists have allowed themselves to be drawn into needs to be showered with light, understanding and forgiveness. Thank you for helping to start the healing process. ❤️

Julie Wilson said...

#Artistsforlove

Lisa S. said...

Thank you for sharing! xx

john said...

Your words could not come at a better time! Well said, Seth! Thank you.

Cathy Parlitsis said...

Seth, you are an amazing person! I wish everyone was like you.
Thank you for your words of wisdom!

Karen said...

Well said Seth. I believe art should ultimately be about uplifting the human condition and there is certainly a great part to be played in sharing love and fighting intolerance now.

Sue said...

Beautifully put Seth, and so true x

Sharmon Davidson said...

Thank you for sharing this, Seth.

beenebag said...

A ray of light. Thanks so much. I've been really limiting my reading on Facebook. At some point the amount of hate that was being posted so often brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing your positive and hopeful thoughts. :)

Alesia Regan-Hughes said...

Thank you for your words and your art ~ both are illuminating our world, which is so desperately needed at this time. I am happy to contribute to the light and love by participating in the #artistsforlove project. Your statement about the election being a seismic event is accurate. Once the dust settles, we will all be looking back to see how we handled ourselves during this unprecedented time. This project gives all who participate the opportunity to do some good.... may we all look back at this time, and be able to say, "I added to the kindness, compassion, caring, love, respect, honesty, and goodness in the world."

Linda said...

This is very beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

Dawn C. said...

Well said. Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability, and belief that all matter.

Karen said...

Perfectly said. Sadly this was needed to be said! I'll add that instead of bashing the neighbor, family member, friend who voted differently than you, ask them why they did and than truly listen. I did just that at a recent girls escape and both sides learned a lot. We managed to have respectful dialogue, even though it was not easy as the issues are so volatile. The blanket name calling needs to stop on both sides, the issues are way too complex for putting people in these little boxes. It is bullying every single time you label someone and put it on social media, on a sign or yell it to a crowd. Respect people let's get back to kindness and respect.

Tammy said...

Thank you for this post and the message - it's absolutely necessary now & into the future. #artistsforlove is a beautiful message (although sadly so). Inclusivity and love should be celebrated, thank you for sharing your art. Personally, I'm finding the #artistsforlove posts have taken the sting out of the last few weeks, giving me hope that awareness and action are alive.
-Tammy

(The Orly Avineri link was broken. I saw it in her newsletter, but not her site).

Lynne Sward said...

I missed your message when you first posted it, but somehow,,,,,the "Universe" directed me to read your current post as well as the artistic interpretations of "Artists For Love" I am so moved by all the artwork, plus other people's comments,
that after Thanksgiving, I will be creating my own artwork along with the quote......Thank you Seth, for being so
magnificent......cheers,,,,Lynne Sward

Carolyn said...

Thank you Seth. I needed these words today.

Anonymous said...

Seth,

Well said. Thank you for having the courage to say it.

Dana in Connecticut

PocketSize said...

<3

EKS s said...

Thanks for writing this, Seth --beautifully written and well-expressed......

Pat said...

<3 Thanks Seth.

Scrappy Diva said...

Beautifully expressed, Seth. Thank you for encouraging positivity, tolerance and open-mindednes in all aspects of our life, now and in the future.