As of right now you’ve got three full days and two half-days to vote in the 2010 Best Of Regina, prairie dog’s reader poll celebrating the niftiest people, places, shops, services and et cetera in the Queen City. Polls close on Thursday at noon, so you’ve got tonight, Thursday morning and three days in between.

Until the polls close I’m previewing some of the new Bests in our 125 category poll. Up today: Best Artist (traditional media) and Best Artist (new media).

Art practices can be so different from one another they seem to have nothing in common. How do you compare a potter to a video installation artists? How do you measure a painter against a performance artist? Are recently legitimized media like comics and textiles “new media” or “traditional media”? (Answer: traditional. Give me a hard one! That’s what she said. Shut up, brain.)

That’s why we have two categories. It’s a little artificial but let’s look at the upside: this gives us twice as much space to write about Regina visual artists. Hooray!

Best Artist, Traditional Media covers the classic areas of study artists have worked in for, in most cases, thousands of years. The field includes sculpture, painting, pottery, drawing, printmaking and textiles. We’ll also include photography, the baby of the bunch. And graffiti. We’ll toss that in here. Most if not all of the art you’d find at commercial galleries is traditional media.

Best Artist, New Media includes forms developed mostly in the last half-century or so: performance , sound art, film and video (not movies though), digital media, virtual realities and installation come to mind. Art that is ephemeral or transitory (i.e. can’t be sold, makes no money) often goes here.

Art is something humans have done forever. Art can floor us with its beauty, stagger us with its message and shock us with its innovation. Art is important and it’s important to talk about it.

Let’s talk some more about art. Please vote for Regina’s Best Artists.