The woman next to me makes jewelry from colored sea glass that has been sand-polished on beaches for decades. The man across from me makes sculpture by welding junkyard metal into fantastic creations. On my other side is an oil painter. Down the way is a leaded-glass artist whose windows and doors refract a thousand beams of colored light.
We're the people who still work in the world that existed before computer technology. We use computers, but mostly just in the business side of our endeavors. Our primary pursuits are much more aligned with the 19th century than the 21st century.
We are some of the only people left in this country who still make stuff. We create things and experiences out of the ether, whether that be figure sculpture or a new song.
Instead of moving information or manipulating ones and zeroes in complex software code, we dream up something that's never been done before – usually something that can be created by an individual rather than by a team – and we fashion it using (mostly) old-fashioned skills. (Of course, people who write video games and other creative software pursuits are artists, too, but they aren't at this event.)
Down to my left is a photographer and beyond him a textile artist. After that is a woodworker, then a ceramics artisan. There are water colorists and leather workers. There's a stone carver and a potter. And, oh yeah, a guy who represents the literary arts, a guy who makes up stories.
I'm exhibiting my books at the Los Altos Rotary Art Festival.
Throngs of people mill about. They appear to love the event.
I think art will thrive in the New World.