A quote by Cleo Laine, a contemporary, yet elderly lady jazz singer: “One’s art is the result of the kind of life one lives.”

That kind of rings a bell.

The seven original arts are painting, sculpture, poetry, music, dance, theatre and architecture. Later forms include literature, photography, film, fashion, design, multimedia and any of their current crossovers. All have their own legends, heroes, pioneers, protagonists, stars and icons. The names of the greats and their accomplishments throughout the ages are as diverse as they are endless.   

The arts are essentially divided into the visual and the performing arts. Visual artists incorporate various materials and techniques to create aesthetical physical objects, whilst performing artists use their bodies, voices and other instruments to convey artistic expression intended to be performed in front of a live audience.

Performing might not exactly be the right word as though creative artists do not perform. Performing in this context refers to the re-creative or reproductive capacity, such as the difference between a composer and a pianist or a playwright and an actor. When the curtain falls, the actors and dancers have done whatever was required and the musicians wrap up their instruments. The work has been done and, if all went well, the performance will reverberate in the audience’s memory. The bigger the impact, the better.

It is not quite so with the creative artist who produces pieces that will be around for a while, occupy space, and through time probably obtain more significance and value. This is why creative artists, including writers and composers, generally sign their work in a way performing artists can not.

My special thanks to Luchy Retratos for the image of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. It was designed by the outstanding Canadian-born American architect Frank Gehry.

Jon Eiselin.