ArtPrize, a unique artistic experience like none other anywhere in the world (that's not hyperbole - check out the website).
Art is not just something we humans do to fill empty hours or to have pretty stuff to look at. It fulfills a deep, human need. Check out what John Paul the Great said about art in his "Letter to Artists" in 1999:
Society needs artists, just as it needs scientists, technicians,
workers, professional people, witnesses of the faith, teachers, fathers
and mothers, who ensure the growth of the person and the development of
the community by means of that supreme art form which is “the art of
education”. Within the vast cultural panorama of each nation, artists
have their unique place. Obedient to their inspiration in creating works
both worthwhile and beautiful, they not only enrich the cultural heritage
of each nation and of all humanity, but they also render an exceptional
social service in favour of the common good.
The particular vocation of individual artists decides the arena in which
they serve and points as well to the tasks they must assume, the hard work
they must endure and the responsibility they must accept. Artists who are
conscious of all this know too that they must labour without allowing
themselves to be driven by the search for empty glory or the craving for
cheap popularity, and still less by the calculation of some possible
profit for themselves. There is therefore an ethic, even a “spirituality”
of artistic service, which contributes in its way to the life and renewal
of a people. It is precisely this to which Cyprian Norwid seems to allude
in declaring that “beauty is to enthuse us for work, and work is to
raise us up”.
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