Cultural Collide

whenever i am at the arts alliance to monitor the gallery, i usually spend my time on the beautiful iMac in the office. i have never been a “web surfer”, spending hours on the internet. when i do find the time, i am often at a loss of what to look for, so i do the last thing that an undergrad does during the summer.i start looking up graduate programs.

NYU has this great program for art administration and sounds like my cup of tea. however, it suggested a “strong background in art history”. i assume they imply a major in art history…which i will not have. i was a little heartbroken.

today at work i was talking about my dilemma with my co-workers (camp counselors) and it led to a discussion about majors in general. “the colonel” wondered what one could do with a major in art history. “jail bait school boy” answered ‘to be a snob’.

at first i was a little appalled, and then i realized the culture differences between new york and well, the rest of the country. one of the issues i have with coming home has been the attitude of the average citizen of my small town. most go to college here in order to stick around with the friends they made in high school, marry some one they meet in college. settle down, start working, have kids, and the cycle repeats itself. it seems like only in new york (and probably other metropolitan cities) the family and home and friends are last priorities compared to having a career, being success, and living up to the cultured norm. a degree in art history is interesting and respected in a metropolitan area. in small town america…or just maybe my small town, a degree an art history gets you laughed at.

but that is besides the point.

i also realized that i could finally identify a previously unnamed conflict i had when first starting school. a majority of the people i met and the friends i made in ny would be regarded as snobbish and pretentious to the people i know from home. the norm at home believe in doing what is practical. somehow i have gotten myself associated with people who insist that the luxuries of life are worth having and sacrificing that is preposterous. some at school have had more experience in seeing the world and understanding the luxury of culture than my friends from home could ever dream of. maybe that is the point, that to be cultured is a luxury.

it seems often enough to be true that an appreciation for art and culture goes along with status and wealth. i could only hope that it would not be so, that art is something that should be appreciated by all. In this modern age, above anything else, culture had become the voice of the masses. the majority of the masses are not the select and privileged view.

the united states is criticized for lacking culture compared to Europe. the best way to promote the arts is with an understanding of the average patron of our society.

therefore…..i think NYU should let me in to the visual arts administration program without needing a silly art history major.

the end

oh…pitchfork in 2 weeks!

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