Thoughts on Art & Ageism

 Art & Ageism

"Ageism - noun - prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age." as Google Dictionary states. 

I have recently noticed that ageism is something of an issue within the art world. Having worked in the creative industry now for over 10 years in various capacities as well as In the craft and design i hadn't noticed until more recently how rife the situation is. 

I don't consider myself young anymore, being in my 30's i consider myself very much approaching mid-age. That being said however I seem to be 'young' in comparison to the majority of people whom I meet in the art world; in resident artist positions for example. Art society members, fellow gallery owners, those wanting to take part in art lessons and those who come along to visit my art gallery and art shop I have begun to notice are, mostly, of the older generation.

Skills and experience i don't feel corelate with age in all situations, of course time is needed to develop skills and gain experience but i would argue that dedication to the craft is the key rather than age. I have spoken with a number of very talented and dedicated artists in their early 20's and beyond that have been turned down from artist in residence positions purely based on their age with comments of 'you are too young for this position' being made. I must point out this isn't the situation everywhere. I'm sure there are many galleries and spaces that would not consider age when looking over candidates thought the fact it is happening anywhere has made me question why this happens and for how long has this been happening?  

When i discussed this observation with fellow artists and art hobbyists they agreed that this was something notable and of concern. A number of other stories was shared that highlighted how ageism within the art industry is having a negative impact. 

This matter has peaked my interest and is something i plan to research and investigate further. I'd be keen to hear your thoughts and opinions if this is something that you have noticed within the art industry.    

Written in 2018 by Kerri-Ann Briggs