Although many communities support local businesses, supporting local art seems to be a different story. Our homes are filled with poster art of long dead artists, our furniture looks like it came out of a catalog, and our bookshelves are lined with celebrity authors. With our taste for art and design so homogenized, it’s no wonder that the appreciation for art has actually depreciated in this country, especially in our classrooms.
Developing our own sense of taste means we need to get out of the addictive habit of allowing national brands, and television personalities dictate what our taste should be. The best way to do that is to seek out, and support local art and design.
Here are 8 ways you can support your local creative community:
1)Â Live in Local DÃ©cor : If you’re a decorator, have him/her seek out locally made furniture that is within you taste and budget. Rather than having the same poster art that everyone else has, visit local art stores, and see if there is a painting in your liking. The next time you’re in a restaurant, see if the photos on the walls are local.
2)Â Become a Local Fashionista: I hate it when someone has the same outfit as I do. When you shop at the mall, the chances of this happening increase. Find out who the hip designers are in your town, and find out where they sell their clothes. Attend local fashion shows. If you’re getting married, find a local boutique store that specializes in custom wedding dresses.
3)Â Read Local Authors: Go to your local bookstore, library, or used bookstore, and ask if they know of any good authors in the genre you enjoy reading. Start a local author book club. Attend readings by local authors.
4)Â Listen to Local Musicians: Music taste differs from town to town. If you look in your local newspaper, there are plenty of musicians holding concerts. Hopefully, they have original music.
5)Â Support Local Festivals: If you attend a local film festival, you’re not saying you like all the films. You’re simply supporting the idea of local filmmaking. Same thing with local art festivals, food and wine festivals, and music festivals.
6)Â Get Your Kids Involved: Get your kids interested in local artists at an early age, especially music. Better yet, have them create their own works of art.
7)Â Go Hyperlocal: Buy a book from a local used bookstore written by a local author that takes place in your local town. Buy a artwork from a local artist or photographer that only uses your local region as its muse. Buy sculptures from an artist that uses only local materials, or reclaimed materials.
8)Â Go Viral: Don’t just keep all this great local artwork to yourself. Share your great finds with others. Try to network with other people interested in supporting local artists. Gift local artwork as a gift.
This will all come down to taste of course. Considering that most people get their ideas about decoration from catalogs, and their books from bestseller lists, I think it’s safe to say that for most of us taste is learned through propaganda rather than personal choice. Through homogenized tastes, communities start to lose their individuality and character. The best way to keep your local community vibrant and culturally rich is to support your local creative community.