Despite that in the past art was mostly perceived much like a hobby, in modern world artists have real opportunities to follow their artistic skills and transform their intentions into art-based businesses. As these activities are somehow linked to the economical welfare of the country, unfortunately there still exists states where art is hardly considered as a money earning business and unfortunately Georgia is among them.
Art is a diverse range of human activities which intends to be appreciated for their beauty and emotional power, including music, theater, film, dance and other performing arts, as well as literature, architecture, painting and many more. Some of them mentioned above are more successful in developing countries like Georgia than the others. For instance, if we are talking about material privileges, architects have wider prospects than painters or musicians here, as long as this kind of art, roughly speaking, is more practical and useful for so-called “real-businesses” to fulfill their plans than the others.
Statistically, according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia’s survey, the number of students enrolling for the bachelor’s programs to the faculty of Arts and Science grew almost 1.6 times in 2011 and 2015 years and every year, hundreds of young people are becoming students of Tbilisi State Academy of Arts of Georgia, which is the leading higher art institutions of Georgia offering high quality educations corresponding to modern requirements.
Giving a person education has become easier today than teaching them how to realize this knowledge and transform it into something materially beneficial for them and we usually lack the culture of teaching people how to make business with the profession they are perfectly good at.
This circumstances are still problematic in Georgia and so, graduate students mostly give up their profession. According to the survey conducted by Friedrich Ebert Foundation in 2016, 31% of young people are partly employed by their profession and 35% of them have lost connection with their first profession and had to fit different types of working activities.
Of course these numbers aren’t promising for so many students which enroll rather non-profitable faculties of Georgia like Art, but lately some events gave stimulus to creative young people to realize their handmade works or artistic services taking part in exhibitions with lower expenditures. For instance, painters now can post their works in e-auctions and this is one of the options of turning your creativity into a career in many countries.
Unfortunately, this kind of innovations stay unknown for older Georgian artist who try to sell own works or services in the streets, parks, etc., and there are no firm activities of gathering all of their artworks together. But even one glimpse around these artists is enough to see that usually tourists are the ones who are mostly interested in getting this kind of art.
Following the information given by FactCheck analysts of Georgia, the number of people living below the absolute poverty line grew by 0.5% in 2016 year and reached almost 21.3% of whole population and we can’t blame society about not paying enough attention to the art while living conditions are deplorable even for bigger number of population.
Even if modern Georgian writers will publish their books, only few readers can afford to “take a risk” while saving money for getting books to read a new authors works than worldwide known classical writer. We see also many talented musicians who strive for foreign countries and it’s obvious, whilst even winning some musical competitions doesn’t give them much chances to try career in mother land.
We can say that one of the most underrated fields of art in Georgia are film and theater, strangely even those international awards-winning Georgian films and animations are hardly seen on television, internet or cinemas and the reason for that, which is often mentioned even by artists themselves is that the media doesn’t pay enough attention to promoting our countries cultural achievements whilst in 21st century media became the strongest weapon in any direction you are aiming for.
So, as long as Georgian society realizes how strongly our indifference and ignorance affects art-makers whose career will always be directed to the foreign cultures, till the schools and universities will not approach more practical direction of developing students’ entrepreneurial skills, above-mentioned statistics about poverty will be under strong necessity of improving and country will always have issues with developing any fields of art and art business in Georgia.
Author: Tamar Devdariani © BUSINESS GEORGIA