We need art that resists commodification: art that is handmade

Problems like poverty, disease, and homelessness are so pervasive that they seem to require large-scale solutions—and therefore many people assume that the only artistic response of value has to come through art that utilizes mass media and pop genres to get the word out on a sufficient scale. This is an understandable but misguided notion. It plays directly into the way that social justice itself has been turned into a commodity: some instant uplift, a soaring rock ballad, and a small financial donation. In the face of this we need art that resists commodification: art that is handmade, art that penetrates beneath the surface of things and demands much, rather than skimming across the sentimental surface. If the needs that justice cries out about are deep and enduring, then the art we create should be just as deep and enduring. Only that kind of art can move people to make the sort of sacrifice justice would have them make.

“Poetic Justice” by Gregory Wolfe

Creativity is a constant invitation to virtue

Gregory Wolfe on creativity,

I would argue that the truest, most unsentimental thing we can say about creativity is that it is a constant invitation to virtue, that if we step back and look for the deeper meanings of the creative urge, and the lessons of the creative process, we will discover myriad opportunities to develop our inner lives, whether we are makers ourselves or are simply responding to the creativity of others…

The undermining of traditional Western ideas about creativity has brought about a deep cultural impoverishment. Creativity may be only an invitation to virtue—an invitation that is not always accepted—but it exists only in individual souls, souls that must struggle to observe the world, empathize with its inhabitants, and shape an artifact into a form that communicates meaning to others.

Beauty Will Save the World by Gregory Wolfe