Why Art ?

“Soul Emerging”

Ceramic 18” x 12”

“. . in this society, which is competitive and materialistic, there is little outlet for our spiritual selves. We are so engaged in activities of outer value—the pursuit of financial security and social gain— our sense of reality, our sense of ourselves, is so dominated by a popular culture that admits only what is tangible, quantifiable, and measurable that we have little validation of our inner life, our souls, if you will. It used to be that there were institutions and other forums that were a home for the expression of what we call the soul—houses of religious worship, the corner bar, the community, the family. All of these have changed, and many have ceased to serve as sanctuaries for spiritual concerns. Most are operating at a deficit and have less time for the spirit than for their own survival.

Nevertheless, there is something inside—call it the soul—that needs expression, and what I think [ art does] is to give it an outlet, to acknowledge and address it through an exploration of [ imagery of the spirit.] 

[ Artists creating and interacting in the community establish] a sacred place for the human tribe which, throughout history, has asked the same questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What does my life mean? Why must we kill? How can there be evil if God is good? How can I forgive and be forgiven? Is there a God? And more.”

Joan Konner 

Graduate School of Journalism

Columbia University

New York City

* brackets mine

The above is an excerpt from Joan Konner’s longer commentary (brackets are mine) on The Power of Myth and Joeseph Campbell, and can be read by clicking on 


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