“A healthy artistic climate does not depend solely on the work of a handful of supremely gifted individuals. It demands the cultivation of talent and ability at all levels. It demands that everyday work, run-of-the-mill work, esoteric and unpopular work should be given a chance; not so much in the hope that genius may one day spring from it, but because, for those who make the arts their life and work, even modest accomplishment is an end in itself and a value worth encouraging.”
Always true, always worth quoting ... and I'm using it in the intro to a short course, so thought I'd air it again here.
And it doesn't just apply to the arts, either ... science, sport, business: everything depends upon the environment within which it grows.
- Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister of Australia 1973-4 (requoted from Germain Greer's The Obstacle Race. 1979, London: Secker & Warburg. 043618799X.)