In Paris, Art is Not a Luxury But a Way of Life – Brief Article

In Paris, Art is Not a Luxury But a Way of Life – Brief Article – Editorial

Vanessa Silberman


I once heard someone say there is nothing quite like Paris in the summer, and after spending a short but enchanting vacation there, I couldn’t agree more. The architecture, the art, the pure romance of the place–I could see why this magical city continues to inspire and attract artists from all over the world.

From the street artists atop Montmartre to the numerous ateliers and galleries in the Marais district, the city brims with living artists. Walking through the Louvre I saw numerous artists with pencil and paper in hand, sketching the great masterpieces. Along the river Seine artists were aplenty, taking in the magnificent vistas of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.

And around every corner, there were places to be found where famous artists once trekked. Meandering through cobblestone streets, I happened upon the buildings where Gauguin was born, Van Gogh lived and Picasso painted (the Bateau Lavoir, where he created “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.”) One afternoon, I travelled to the village of Giverny to see Monet’s home and gardens, which have been beautifully maintained. Each step I took, I felt like I was in one of his paintings–the waterlilies and Japanese bridges jumped out in technicolor before my eyes.

And while I soaked up the ambience, I realized that in Paris, as in the rest of France and much of Europe, art is not considered merely a luxury. It is a way of life.

Here in the U.S., the same can be said for a growing number of Americans who value art as an intrinsic part of their daily lives. Cities across the country are home to artist communities, galleries and museums. But we still have a way to go, especially as government funding for the arts continues to drop and arts education in public schools is at an all-time low. As an industry that places art at the center, we must work together to ensure the U.S. remains a place where both new and established artists can continue to flourish.



COPYRIGHT 2001 Pfingsten Publishing, LLC

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group