LivingArts: Expanding Horizons

It's Supercrawl weekend, but by the time you're reading this, the stages will have been disassembled and the crowd of umbrella-wielding crawlers will be back to work. It's been a soggy but memorable weekend — one of the rare opportunities for artists from all disciplines to gather in one place to share and consume art.

Whether you spent three hours or three days roaming Supercrawl’s main artery of James Street North, you undoubtedly came into contact with the work of many artists, each contributing something unique. Supercrawl creates a space not only for Hamiltonians to connect face-to-face with artists and their work, but also for artists of all disciplines to co-exist.

Something I’ve come to realize in a year of writing for the Living Arts blog is that, while many of my days are spent sharing ideas and experiences with others who work in the literary arts, my interactions with those in other disciplines are rare, with the exception of my partner who has worked as a musician in the city for many years. While we often compare our experiences in our own realms of music and the literary arts, I’ve been privy only to a few conversations about artists’ experiences in public art, visual arts, and theatre.

Among colleagues, I often find myself talking about our needs within the literary arts community, but it has only been since reading posts from my fellow Living Arts bloggers that I’ve considered the similarities and differences across each artistic sector. In a career in which I usually find myself buried in a book or glued to a computer screen, many of my interactions are conducted online, and most are with other editors or writers who share experiences similar to my own.

Writing for the Living Arts blog has helped me remove my blinders, for the first time considering the challenges of other artists and the ways in which they are similar or different than my own. Reading the posts of fellow bloggers has given me a broader understanding of Hamilton’s arts community (an understanding that is sure to expand at the upcoming Living Arts Symposium, another rare opportunity for artists to co-exist and share experiences).

One of the purposes of the Living Arts blog (as outlined on the website) is to “increase awareness among audiences.” Sharing my own experiences has been beneficial, forcing me to question my needs (and wants) as a writer and editor, but it has also expanded my horizons, helping me better understand the needs of the many other artists who make this city unique.