Art and craft–I think it might be a matter of semantics

Do you think the difference between the two terms, art and craft have fallen victim just like everything else in a material capitalist space to bifurcations based on high- brow /low-brow dichotomies? Isn’t the distinction similar to those made in language when conversations are broached concerning basilects and acrolects. As long as the standards for judging value remains in the hands of the elite, intellectual community, the folks that make beautiful things because they are functional and necessary will be relegated to be makers of craft. I see craft as art and artisans as both artist and craftspersons. I am not willing to relegate them to a lower status because of the functional aspect of their creations. Culturally, I am wedded to the African continental view of art as necessary and reflective of a set of highly nuanced values of the particular cultures who produce it. When I go to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the intricately woven baskets, are as beautiful and have an aesthetic value equal to their functionality. Similarly in Ghana, the stamped Adinkra cloth has a semiotic value located in the signs, and you can also wear it for funerals and ritual occasions. I think the key words I am searching for are relevance accessibility, and inspiration. For me craft fulfills those elements for me. Craft gives me two options I get to utilize it and gaze longingly at the artistic product.


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