GUILD is a group of individual artists who affirm:
1) that Art is Alive and well and always will be.
2) that Art thrives on the power of time-honored skills and the
belief in the originality of the individual artist.
3) that the work of Art cannot be reduced to a message, and that
while Art can broach any subject, it cannot
help but be transcendent, ambiguous, and essentially enigmatic.
4) that Art which denies skill, originality, and ambiguity is just
a one-line joke, a transparent screed, or yet
another pathetic and anachronistic attempt to shock—but who?,
5) that because Art is never about the individual artist—however
confessional it might appear to be—the
appreciation of its merits should always resist the cult of personality.
The work of Art stands alone, as often
the artist too must stand alone.
6) that the business of Art is a laudable and meritorious contributor
to the artist’s wellbeing and the life of
our culture, provided it is based on rewarding merit.
7) that as individuals and as artists we are indebted to the past—manifested
in the history of Art as well as
in the particular cultural legacies we have inherited and absorbed
as individuals—but that we pay back that
debt by making the past live in the transformative and innovative
power of our work. We honor the past but
do not live in it. We seek the new but are not slaves of novelty.
8) that Art without Ideas is worthless.
9) that life without Art results in slavery—to states, slogans,
greed, and other symptoms of the refusal to
reflect actively in the course of everyday existence.
10) that we capitalize the first letter of the word Art to honor
its importance in our lives as artists and in
the Western tradition to which we belong.