Are you awake?

With everything that has been happening in this Presidential election campaign, one would hope that everyone who cares about art is alert and more importantly, active.

Presidential, Congressional and even state and municipal elections are no time to play around. They are no joke. This is not the time to be apathetic about what’s happening in the air space surrounding you.

You can just smell the tension. With the onslaught of November, you can feel the brutal, nasty winds even when no winds are blowing. Everyone is just itching for a fight.

If you’re an artist, you need to put the paintbrush down for a moment. If you’re an art dealer, you need to think about how the economic policies of the candidates could potentially affect your business. If you’re an art lover, you need to be very aware of how a new administration – national or local – might help or hurt your art community.

It’s time to STAND UP.

I find it quite disturbing how so many Americans take this freedom that we have for granted. We take it so for granted that many of us have grown complacent and lazy. We just assume that freedom of expression and even basic civil and human rights will always exist for everyone.

You need to wake up. Freedom of expression has never been free. It has always come at great cost … especially to those who gave their lives for it.

I’m thinking right now about Ai Weiwei and Odd Nerdum and other artists who’ve been arrested and detained for whatever reason. Freedom and freedom of expression are not to be toyed with. They mean something and if we want to retain them, we must maintain them. We must get out there and VOTE for the candidates – and support the people and organizations - that support the arts.

We cannot do anything about what happened yesterday and plan as we must, we don’t have much more control over tomorrow. However, we can control what we do today … and today, we can do right by contemporary art by supporting those who defend it and advocate on behalf of it.

Contemporary art is a human rights issue.

I spend so much of my time talking with people in the art world. I find that so many of us disassociate ourselves from the larger world and what’s going on. Well … now is NOT the time for that. We need to get informed, reconnect and take action. There is simply too much at stake.

So, art world, what am I saying? I am saying that if you don’t vote, don’t bitch.

The way our elections turn out will be squarely on your shoulders. You do not get a pass on this. Neither do I. For the record, I've already voted.

If you love contemporary art, then the time to speak up is NOW ... VOTE.

Every single voice and every single vote are the same as every single brushstroke on canvas. They all add up. They all contribute to the composition. They all work together to become either a masterwork or master mess. We get to decide.

You don't have to be an artist to paint a picture. Contemporary art needs our help. NOW.

Let’s DO this. Stand UP for art.



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