Street art and busking — it’s all good even when it’s bad

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One of the joys of visiting European cities, as well as most larger American cities, is the abundance of artists sharing their talents on plazas and sidewalks throughout town. This guy above is a pretty typical performance artist, but his shtick is something I’ve not seen before. Or maybe he really is levitating? No matter, it was worth a few coins from my pocket just to watch and wonder.

Columbia is well on its way to being a city enhanced by random artists and performers via the busking movement taking place now. Sure, some of the art will suck — some of it won’t really be art, as fast and loose as we’ve been playing with that term lately. (Really, is playing with a children’s toy art? Even if you’re very good at playing with it? And also, just because you’re the only person or group of people in town with the guts to do what you do, or present yourself the way you do, does that make you an artist? Even if you are only mediocre at doing that weird but wonderful thing you do? I’ve enjoyed this debate before with people who call themselves dancers just because they took a few classes. Having reared and paid for the education of a professional dancer who played at dance until she was about 10, then got serious enough about it to study it all over the world, giving up all of her free time and most of her childhood, I get a little tetchy about self-professed dance artists – I don’t really care how esoteric your “art” might be. There are hobbies, and then there is art. Both have the propensity to make life joyous. But this is just my opinion, probably loosed a bit generously by the second glass of Pundericher Marienburg Riesling Hochgewachs Finherb I’ve enjoyed sitting by the Mosel in the little hamlet of Beilstein, Germany.

Having just left the ancient Roman town of Trier where both performance and visual artists inhabited most corners, I’m delighted by the prospects of this kind of casual entertainment becoming a part of the rich arts culture that is growing and thriving in my hometown.

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This guy does some lovely, though crafty work — and there’s nothing wrong with crafty — with wire. I probably would have made a purchase to take back home myself, but my suitcase will be full of several sneaky bottles of a semi-dry auslese. So have a little look at some of the goodies he was peddling. Inspiration maybe?

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About Jasper

What Jasper Said is the blogging arm of Jasper – The Word on Columbia Arts, a new written-word oriented arts magazine that serves artists and arts lovers in the Columbia, SC area and its environs in four ways: Via Print Media – Jasper is a bi-monthly magazine, releasing in print six times per year in September, November, January, March, May & July, on the 15th of each month. Jasper covers the latest in theatre and dance, visual arts, literary arts, music, and film as well as arts events and happenings; Via Website – Jasper is an interactive website complete with a visual arts gallery, messages from Jasper, an arts events calendar that is updated several times daily, bite-sized stories on arts events, guest editorials, local music, dance & theatre videos, community surveys, and more; Via Blog – What Jasper Said -- you're reading this now -- is a daily blog featuring a rotating schedule of bloggers from the Jasper staff as well as guest bloggers from throughout the arts community; Via Twitter – Jasper Advises is a method of updating the arts community on arts events, as they happen, with more than a half dozen active tweeters who live, work, and play inside the arts community everyday ~ Jasper Advises keeps the arts community abreast of what not to miss, what is happening when it is happening, and where to be to experience it first hand.
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