Times: Artists Suffer From Recession, Some Cheerfully


Today the Times lets several artists tell us how they’re coping with the recession. Regrettably, none respond with an interpretative dance or such like, but some say it’s actually a net plus — not in the sense we have discussed here, of cheaper rents and creative destruction, but in a personal way. Sony Holland, a San Francisco chanteuse who spent the boom years singing at “corporate conventions, wine country gatherings, weddings” and other drearily remunerative events, now “feels liberated, able to focus on the kind of music that she loves.” Visual artist Liz Fallon is “freed from the constraints of creating for a specific buyer… ‘Nobody wants me to do anything, so I’m just doing what I want,’ she said.”

Some are less cheerful. Young painter Stephanie Sturton is stuck in Detroit with 75 grand in school loans and is, unsurprisingly, unable to make a living in her chosen field. She has resorted to teaching pottery in public schools, though “I do not even work with clay.” She’s taking business classes at a local community college, something we have known painters to do even in good times: In fact, many of the remedies availed by the subjects, like living cheap and taking day jobs, sound a lot like what the great majority of artists are forced into no matter how the economy’s doing. Art’s always a hard dollar. Why do you think we turned to the high-paying, go-go world of journalism?

On a related note, the JVC Jazz Festival is cancelled in New York and other cities for the first time in its history. The “charismatic entrepreneur” who bought the franchise from George Wein two years ago and “planned to transform Mr. Wein’s empire through aggressive growth,” blames the economy. Image (cc) jbcurio.