Barack Obama, Ilinois’s Democratic senator, has written a book by this title. In an interview on amazon.com, Obama is asked ”If readers are to come away from ‘The Audacity of Hope’ with one action item, what should it be?” And he answers: “Get involved in an issue that you’re passionate about. It almost doesn’t matter what it is–improving the school system, developing strategies to wean ourselves off foreign oil, expanding health care for kids. We give too much of our power away, to the professional politicians, to the lobbyists, to cynicism. And our democracy suffers as a result.”
So what does this have to do with art? Well, as an inhabitant of a meaningful universe, I consider just about anything that captures my attention as a conveyer of meaning. Though I have not yet read the book mentioned here, I have made decisions at various times in my life to embrace the audacity of hope, to follow my passions wherever they lead me. And art is something I am PASSIONATE about. It is one way I employ to reclaim, and display, my own power. I conduct my search for fellow artists, those who speak in a visual or written language that moves me, like a knight questing after the holy grail. I am delighted each time I discover processes and materials that further my own expression, my own grail production—which involves making or writing something that encourages hope and creativity in others. I have found this to be a dependable source for nurturing my own joy and sense of purpose. So, I’m with Obama–and anyone else who chooses hope as a strategy in any aspect of their life, be it art, politics, or the pursuit of happiness.