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January 5th, 2009

Art Shoes #1: Artistic shoes to fill the gap

These days, it’s hard not to feel jolted by daily news of economic crises. Today’s All Things Considered featured a heartbreaking story titled “Museums Exhibit Signs of Economic Distress,” which highlighted an art museum in New York that recently resorted to selling several paintings from their permanent collection.

Cheerful cherry blossoms and stunning gold. A treat for the eye.

Cheerful cherry blossoms and stunning gold. A treat for the eye.

To collectors or visitors, this seems to make sense, since they see art as an asset. But for an art museum to sell off its foundational pieces is akin to selling off a part yourself to pay bills.

In the current economic meltdown, many private donors have slammed shut their checkbooks as they watched their investments melt away in scandals and dropping stocks. Now, many arts and non-profit institutions are seeing years of progress melt away as more of their assets are sold. On this day 60 years ago, Truman argued that every American citizen deserves a fair deal from his or her government. Will today’s jittery economy lead politicians to let public art programs whither away due to waning funding coffers?

Bet you didn’t think you’d read such historical wanderings on a shoe blog, eh?

I think shoes and art have this in common: they can lift our spirits in the darkest times of our lives. Art electrifies and revives us, so when the going gets tough, surround yourself with beauty every day. Make art from whatever materials you can find/afford/reuse. Every day this coming week, I’ll join art and shoes. What crafts can you make with shoes? What painters have featured shoes in their work? Are artists as gaga for shoes as the rest of us? What is the link between art and shoes? I’ll explore these questions and others over the next week of perfect burrowing-into-art-activities weather.

For this initial post on shoes and art, I’m featuring one of Shoefly’s own pieces de resistance: the
Nicole by Berne Mev, shown at top. The cheerful blossoms in the foreground remind me of Japanese cherry blossom paintings I once saw in the Asian Art Museum of San Fransisco. And the intricate gold designs in the background remind me of the museum’s current exhibit on art from Afghanistan. Just like great art, these shoes will lighten your step with their beauty.

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