Getty Images

Jake Roach, Staff Reporter

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’ve been to the St. Louis Art Museum or at least heard it. Personally, I’ve visited the museum a number of times with family, friends, and even by myself. It’s an amazing place for the low price of free.

However, the last time I attended the museum, I had an interesting conversation with my uncle. We were standing in the newest modern art exhibit on the west side of the building and while he was admiring the pieces, I was sneering at them as if they were pieces of garbage. I honestly thought they were pointless splatters of paint on a canvas, or random materials thrown together on a base, and coming from the Renaissance exhibit, it made sense I would think that.
I commented on the matter to my uncle, who held this form in high regard, in a mocking manner and was met with a response that was unexpected. He looked at me and said, “Art is not a measure of effort, art is a measure of expression.”

That has stuck with me over the past few years and has molded the way I treat my art (music) today.
The reason I bring this up is for an unfortunate shortcoming in St. Louis for musicians recently. As I mentioned a couple weeks back, I play in a band, and we gig around St. Louis quite a bit. Not to say this is any accomplishment because it certainly isn’t, especially when you understand the St. Louis music scene. However, this doesn’t discredit the work we put into our craft.

Now you may be asking yourself: Yeah, so what? You play in a band, why does that matter? It matters because of how people treat each other in my craft. Artists, musicians, bands are incredibly critical of others work and if they don’t like it, no one should. This mentality bleeds the creative prestige out of music and kills the aspirations of so many.

In other art forms, work is respected whether a particular artist likes it or not. While they may not like it, they hold the craft in such a high regard that they can respect it. In music, bands and artists are not treated as fairly and their work is constantly criticized. This is not only disrespectful to the artist, but to the art form itself.

Being critical as an audience member instead of the one on stage is understandable and much invited, but never should artists publicly break down and try to destroy a creative flow of consciousness.

That kind of behavior isn’t acceptable for artists in any form. If success is the goal, then bringing up and supporting others is progress.