Nick Cave Takeaways from 2018 National Art Education Association Convention

In early December of 2017, I had the opportunity to interview Nick Cave for the March 2018 issue of SchoolArts Magazine. I approached the interview from the curiosity of an art educator. You can read the interview here. 
I was introduced to his work in 2012 when it was on exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. Six years later, he was the opening keynote speaker to a packed house of educators from across the U.S. and 17 other countries. As I sat next to SchoolArts Magazine editor, Nancy Walkup, I was eager to hear about his work. Thank you for saving a seat for me, Nancy. 
Source: @The New York Times
As the interview was conducted, his diverse body of work was displayed onto two screens. 
Here are some takeaways that I left with. 
  • Reflection (it is important to reflect on the past, present, and to think about the future)
  • Making sense of the world around us (as artists, we address this daily within our studio practice. In what ways can we make our world a better place to live in?)
  • Protective armor (Cave’s sound suits are a metaphor for being protected from outer influences. Soundsuits were created as a way to give a person a voice.) Did you know that the first soundsuit was inspired by a twig found in a park?
  • Making our voices heard (Without using words, in what ways can we make our voices heard? How can our actions communicate our needs?)
  • Artist for civic duty (using art for a higher purpose can impact a community, future generations, and us.)
  • Not an artist, but a messenger (we make art to express ourselves, but how often do we think the lives of others?)
  • Using art as a vehicle for change (in today’s social, cultural, and political arenas millions of people are gathering in support of issues that are affecting our way of life. When you use art to make a statement, it is then that you are impacting other people’s perspective and hopefully contribute to some form of positive change.)

“Failure is everything to me. It is how I got here” – Nick Cave, artist 


Photo by Frank Juarez
Photo by Frank Juarez
Photo by Frank Juarez

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