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  • What Makes an Artist?

    What Makes an Artist? – The Manifesto

    Hello my name is Don Linke and I’m here in Milwaukee WI where I’ve spent the last 45 years or so as a professional musician and university instructor learning what I believe it takes to legitimately call oneself an Artist. During this time my growth rings have been quite consistent. However, lacking anything that might be regarded as genius, it’s taken most of those years to reach my goal. Now having the confidence to describe myself as an Artist, I’m dismayed at how often I hear the words artist and art describing people and things that clearly do not measure up to any credible standard. Look, on first hearing you might think “who’s this guy to say what is or isn’t anything?” You may be right but here’s the plan…

    Along with some great friends, fellow musicians and you the audience we’re going to discuss, debate, maybe negotiate and ultimately celebrate what goes into the making of an artist, ergo Art.

    Knowledge, commitment, discipline, passion, pride, respect, accountability, confidence, perseverance, tenacity, affirmation and reaffirmation.

    These descriptive words are all represented in the constitution of an artist. They describe less about the final work, and more about the “how” factor that goes into creating that certain painting, recording or particular performance.

    The great jazz pianist Bill Evans said (I’m paraphrasing) “Jazz isn’t the what it’s the “how”. So it’s not that you can play a certain tune, it’s how you play it that counts”.

    I think we might all agree it’s not a million views on YouTube that defines what art is and you won’t find your inner artist by gazing admiringly in the mirror.

    Michelangelo’s David is one thing, Those wooden cut out silhouettes on sale along the highway are another; they both certainly exist but I think we’d agree one is more “art” than the other. I’d like to get deeper into the differences, again not to denigrate the pop world but to celebrate the art world.

    I do think this “how” thing is what we are allowing to erode. I don’t think dumbing down or excessive inclusion is the solution to success in the arts. My guests and I along with you guys tuning in will investigate and critique what the artists themselves have to share in hopes of stimulating more interest and enthusiasm for the artists among of us.

    Here’s the thing. Anyone can be anything they want to be; but maybe not everyone can be everything they want to be, just cause they “wanna be”. Vision without execution is an illusion.

    So. If you’re an artist, want to be an artist, or you’re interested in artists… Join us and add some, or get some insight as to what it takes to be an artist.

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