I admire Dave Brubeck, Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, , Picasso and Paul Newman. Whether in film, music or art, these people lived well and long, did great work and were themselves. They had a sense of humor, a sense of place and good sense. They didn’t do drugs, Hollywood parties, etc. They weren’t saints but they treated people right. They were smart and were secure in their own skins. They traveled the world but they were grounded in the ability to steer themselves.

Artists in the Midwest have an advantage; they have a lot of these qualities for success. In The Zen of Tony Bennett, this 86 year old performer talks about the importance of knowing what you are good at and always giving your very best. That is why he is a class act. Artists who choose never to do schlock, to always do their very best, will eventually rise to the top.

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  1. Those are some pretty broad generalizations, Billy Bob. I think artists in the Midwest live so long because we’re still waiting for something interesting to happen.

    • Define interesting. I have been to NYC and LA gallerys and my fellow grad students were making art that was much, much better. I have found some amazing, interesting people right here in Podunk. Since a lot of my work is about nature, the Midwest is a good place. I am not waiting for something interesting to happen, I am trying to do some interesting things. You can’t avoid generalizations if you want to make a point, everything has exceptions. I will concede Jackson Pollock would not have run into Peggy Guggenheim in Loogootee, but you have to ask yourself if that makes him a better artist. Amen

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