What do you think about what Evan Mann, Michael Ensminger and Jason Thielke have had to say so far? Check out 303 Magazine at Tattered Cover or at select Whole Foods locations if you want to hold these local artists in your hands.

We’ve all felt it–the immediate feeling of not being worthy when stepping foot in a museum or gallery. That’s the inspiration behind today’s question. It’s something that I’ve heard countless times and it’s something that I keep hearing from different people in the art community would like to see change. I think these artists offer a lot by way of validating these inhibitions and allowing people who want to have more self-esteem in the world that is art.

Today’s question: Why do you think so many people are intimidated by the innate relationship between the artist and the viewer?


EVAN MANN: Sometimes an artist’s thoughts are up in the clouds, somewhere random and fantastic. What they produce up there does not always translate down here where their art is viewed. Often, an artist will entertain a thought sequence or concept for a great deal of time, and their work will reflect that dialogue. Suddenly, a viewer enters in and it is no wonder they are a bit confused, or even intimidated. It is walking into the latter end of a long conversation and expecting to know what has been said.

MICHAEL ENSMINGER: People aren’t intimidated to go to the movies or a library, but the gallery and museum thing is a different experience for a lot of people. There seems to be this idea that there an elite few who get it and who determine what’s important and what people should be looking at. It seems a bit like the emperor’s new clothes. I don’t think cavemen were intellectually intimidated by their cave paintings, but something sure got screwed up along the way.

JASON THIELKE: I think most of it is a bunch of B.S. I find meaning in my work as I’m working. If I am working on a piece for a year and it takes me that long to find meaning, how is someone browsing a museum or looking at my art on a wall meant to find meaning in five minutes? It’s not possible. And for that matter, sometimes I don’t even know how to talk about my art, I should not expect other people to be able to. It’s also too confining to put the meaning of something in a box. That, to me, is anti-art. Art should be open to everybody. I think people just expect to have to find meaning, but they should just enjoy it.

Tomorrow’s question: As an artist, what do you want to communicate to people? And why do you feel so many artists are reluctant to answer that question?

- Laura Standley, Editor in chief

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