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Dec 17, 2018

Giving is the Gift

The current artwork being gifted, an oil landscape.
Art really wants to be either priceless or free! It is a spiritual gift and––like a person–– is likewise dishonored when attached to a price.

I've always resisted pricing art, and though I've made my living selling art, I am most confortable with art as a gift. So in addition to the Random Gifts of Art project I started, to give away drawings (unframed and not from among my prime sales production), I've decided to give away works from among the prime work as well. So once a month I post an artwork on the Tim Holmes Studio Facebook page to give to whomever expresses an interest. This not only addresses the common line: "I wish I could afford your work", but I like being a giver. So here's your chance!

It's been frustrating to me that even though I'm often called "famous", due to a life of art and performing, still I feel of very marginal use to this society. Much as I try to make my art available in whatever ways I can, it takes a great deal of PR to raise enough interest in it. (Currently I'm paying thousands of dollars for help with it, to little effect). It's much easier for me to make a living as a landowner. Capital is obviously what our society values most.

What troubles me here is not the lack of attention (who today is not terminally distracted?) but my lacking opportunity to give. It is very true that giving is a gift to the giver! As a musician or actor I offer my services in many ways to my neighbors. But as a visual artist, the only way I have to give is to apply to show my art at a venue, to pay for and throw a party, or to give art away. I actually do all these, but giving away art is the cheapest for me in terms of time and energy. If there is any other career like this, where a trained professional at the top of their game has to work so hard to share their gifts, I'm not aware of it.

Don't worry about me, really. I have a great life that I wouldn't trade for anything! But this gives me a perspective on our culture. I wonder about a society that can't find a use for talent it contains. We know that art is perhaps the most valuable treasure any culture leaves behind, which makes it all the more puzzling. It would be great if we could find a way to value people among us for their unused gifts, like welcoming refugees as enriching assets instead of burdens, instead of as mere cogs in the economy.

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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.