‘Artsy Fartsy’? There’s no need to swear.
Across our world we can see that the arts are educative and inspiring, creating a threshold for knowledge and celebrating the talent and skill within both classical and modern culture.
‘Artsy-fartsy’. A critical term used to indicate a derogatory vision of anything remotely arts-related as pretentiously whimsical, hippi-like, and trivial. Just recently, my degree subject was called an ‘artsy-fartsy waste of time’, the subject being English Literature. After overcoming the initial shock I fought back with the following: reading cultivates verbal eloquence, expansive vocabularies, and encourages self-reflection; theatre feeds the political and historical mind and emboldens
us to respond to issues of the past, present, and future etc. Moreover, anybody doing an arts-based degree is more likely to identify with how much endless analysis, poring over books, and crucifying critical readings is involved to get a decent grade in an essay.
The point is that the arts culture and its numerous components are not something to be easily dismissed and degraded by anyone with a slightly sceptical, scientific outlook on the world. Across our world we can see that the arts are educative and inspiring, creating a threshold for knowledge and celebrating the talent and skill within both classical and modern culture. From Shakespearean theatre, to post-colonial literature, to fine art; the various divisions of the arts have contributed to the construction of the society in which we inhabit, and have helped to maintain the image of modern culture as intellectually-stimulating, diverse, and liberating. Leeds itself recently witnessed the annual success of Light Night: a whole night dedicated to the celebration of the aesthetic as it brought clustering crowds into the city to appreciate the work of the public, demonstrating how the inner artist can emerge within anyone. In effect, the term ‘artsy-fartsy’ becomes petty and hollow when confronted with this presence of the arts that expands across the globe. The arts need to be taken more seriously by those who condemn them, and, if I had it my way, ‘artsy-fartsy’ would become an expletive in the English Language.