Why do we make art?
Date of Graduation
Honors Research Project
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Art - Studio Emphasis
For this project, I corresponded with a variety of artists from all over the world and documented their responses to the question: why do you create art? After gathering responses, I created this site-specific installation, documenting each participant with a blind contour portrait and a didactic with their first name, the country they are from, and their response. The project’s purpose is to unify artists globally and to emphasize the importance of art cross-culturally.
Prior to the exhibition, I created a survey with three questions: 1. What is your name? 2. What country are you from? and 3. Why do you make art? I published this on social media, corresponding with people from all over the world. Through means of Facebook and Instagram, I gathered global responses from over 30 countries on 6 continents.
After I gathered the responses, I completed a blind contour wall drawing for each individual I received a response from. To explain this process, a blind contour is a drawing exercise where an artist draws a subject without looking at the paper, or in this case, wall. By reducing these portraits down to a blind contour, each subject regardless of their background, will be given the same treatment and concentration. With that said, this act is not to negate or deny the different experiences each person has based on their sexual orientation, race, sex, social class, religious beliefs, or any other factor. Rather, it is done to emphasize our oneness as human beings and artists, and the universal importance of art. In addition, I have negotiated a unifying line between all the drawings to unify the room and the mass of faces. The viewers are also invited to participate by writing their own responses on one of the walls.
During this process, I learned first and foremost about the importance and value of art cross-culturally. When gathering participants, I was in conversation with many different people, opening my mind and widening my perspective. For you, I aim for this installation to be positively overwhelming. My goal is to make the viewer see the value of art globally, to desire to support it, and to connect the viewer with artists and people who they would not have known otherwise. Seeing the variety of names, countries, and responses will hopefully remind the viewer of the importance of every single person on this planet, and to understand how art transcends time and space in a world full of increasing boundaries.
Carder, McKenna, "Why do we make art?" (2019). Honors Research Projects. 804.