We all need a manifesto. Here's mine.
This is what I do. This is what I do when I should be helicoptering, nurturing, cooking, cleaning.
This is what I do because I believe making things with my hands is important.
This is what I do because we’ve been taught throughout time that women don’t get messy. That we stay clean and presentable and perky and pretty.
This is what I do because art you experience visually is something to be valued. It takes skill to look, to contemplate, to make the connections, to create relevancy out of abstraction.
I do this because you, dear daughter, are more than a degree, a paycheck, a sexy black dress, a wedding ring, the right color of nail polish, or eyebrows plucked to perfection.
I do this because the personal is political, whether viewers read politics in my work or not.
I do this because I care about turning the inside outward: I am trying to remember most of the moments of my life that add up to make me who I am.
I do this for the voiceless. I do this for those who have a voice but keep it quiet and meek. I do this for those without access to the perceived frivolity of the arts. I do this because to me life without art would simply be noise and chores and expectations.
I do this because clever social media meme imagery with text in Impact typeface is not art. The art I respect is hold-it-in-your-hands art, hold-it-in-your-heart art, keep-it-in-your-deepest-memories art, put-down-the-cell-phone art, wish-I-could-do-this art, stop-time art.
Art is not a download or a $75 concert experience. It is an eye song, a symphony on a wall you can play over and over again if you’d just listen.
I do this, dear daughter, because you say you are not moved by art, but one day I will move you. I may be dead and gone, but you will look back and say, “My mother made this. And because she did, I have her with me still.”