Cannabis art. What is it, and what is its purpose?
When cannabis art is brought up, the first image that likely comes to mind is that of the iconic cannabis leaf. Members of the cannabis culture have hung posters of the leaf, sewn patches onto their clothing or backpacks, and even gotten tattoos. It’s an image that signals to anyone who uses cannabis that they’re among friends, like-minded people.
But we’re at the dawn of a new decade. And when we talk about cannabis art nowadays, we’re not just talking about the image of the pot leaf.
So what’s going on in the art world, and what is it trying to say about cannabis?
Artists have always used their work to creatively comment on the relevant issues of their time. In the seventies, artists created pieces that spoke to the horrors of the Vietnam war. In the eighties, artists tackled the issues of commercialism and consumerism.
And now, as our nation grapples with the issue of cannabis legalization and drug reform, artists are using their art to have their say.
Simply by incorporating images of cannabis into their work, artists can make a statement. They can encourage conversation about cannabis. Artists know that they have the ability to spark debate and get people to talk about subjects they may not always agree about. It’s the job of art to confront controversy, to make bold statements and get people talking about them.
There are several ways we can see modern art pairing with cannabis culture, all of which are fascinating.
As cannabis companies struggle to find their way in an economy that has only recently legalized what they do, many are turning to the prospect of art sponsorships. By investing in local art scenes, cannabis companies become valued members of their communities, even for those individuals who choose not to partake. It’s a good way to integrate the new business with the community. And local artists, who are always looking for sponsorships and places to display their work, have been nothing but welcoming of the idea.
Then there are those artists who display cannabis directly in their work. Paintings may depict the cannabis plant or a satisfied user partaking of the substance. Other artists have opted for the art of glass blowing, crafting exquisite masterpieces which can actually be used to smoke when not on display. Glass blowing artists create glass pipes and pieces by hand and display them at conventions, fairs, and even sell to collectors. Some of these collections can be valued at more than ten million dollars.
As with any kind of art, getting involved is as easy as grabbing the materials needed for your preferred medium and going to work! Paint your cannabis plants at home or your friends sharing a bowl.
But many people are intimidated at the thought of trying their hand at art. Here are a few things you could try that would ease your way into the art world:
Some dispensaries are hosting paint nights. Ask around at the dispensaries near you. If none are doing it, you might suggest it. These nights provide an opportunity for like-minded people to get together, share in smoke or some edibles, and create paintings, often guided in their technique by an expert.
If you prefer to stay at home, you can duplicate this experience with friends. Partake in your cannabis of choice, then work together to create art. You can even do it alone!
Art and cannabis combine perfectly, and the changing culture around cannabis is sure to expand to include more art opportunities as time goes on.
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