“All art requires courage.”
— Anne Tucker
You have no clothes, no land, and no house. You have no identity, no possessions, and no voice. You can’t read or write. You are part of the 90% in medieval Europe.
This is the scene my wife Melissa and I tried to paint for the 6th grade Art Literacy class this morning. It was an opportunity to learn and teach about Illuminated Manuscripts, the primary type of book and art in the Middle Ages. A time of great oppression.
Illuminated Manuscripts were as much visual art as textual art so the illiterate could also be taught Christian stories. The pictures were unique and a reflection of the individual artist who was often a nun or monk. It was one of the few types of art permitted.
But the artists were few in a time when 90% of the population was effectively enslaved to a king or nobleman.
It was hard to create art in the Middle Ages. It was hard to do anything but survive.
Today, the barriers of feudal society are gone. We have amazing tools of expression in amazing times. For most of us who live in today’s 90%, we can create great art if we wish. Art that will inspire another generation to do great things.
But only if we have the courage to do so.
Taught Art Lit with my wife to the 6th grade students. It was illuminating.