Art is Not Important | Cracking the Myth

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Is art really that important?

To some….art is seen as a frivolous, waste of time and resources. Why support the arts when funds should be spent towards buildings, research, study, etc? Ya know, stuff that actually makes a difference?

Well, for today’s story time, I want to talk to you all about why art – be it paintings, poems, acting, planking while reciting a tearful rendition of A Bronx Tale – is important to us as human beings and is integral to how we grow as a people and society.

And this is a vital point I want to talk about today because….well….there are many people in this world that feel art is unnecessary….

….or even worse, people who are so terrified to pursue the art field because they were told it’s not important or vital for humanity, with classic statements like….

“Why do you want to paint pictures for? Become an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer!”

“Build a bridge, do open-heart surgery, create a safe, efficient car….make a difference for a change! “

“Art only makes things look good. What good is a freshly painted building if it cannot stand? What good is musical theatre if it cannot have it’s sound, set, and light engineers making it happen?”

“Ya know why? cuz art is frivolous, anyone can do it and it is STUPID”.

heh….ok.

Have you heard something similar to this, my dear Queen Bees?

If you have, good. Because, I will share with you what these small minded people are struggling all their pathetic lives to grasp.

When art is stifled, so is the human.

More likely than not, children who show great potential with their art are stifled and told to pursue a meaningful venture. Told to stuff their true emotions and authenticity in order to play the facade that is society’s perception of life.

If you have ever found yourself gazing at a beautiful mural in awe, captivated, moved even, by it’s powerful message.

….Or Contextualized the anguish in someone’s work to your own despair.

…..Or related to an actor portraying the struggles of someone trying to be themselves and cannot.

…….Or saw a movie that made you laugh and cry at the same time

You have experienced and been moved by art.

So, if I may, let’s define what art actually is.

Art is a skill acquired by experience, study, or observation

Merriam Webster Dictionary

And art as we know it today, is about the artist expressing their own style, regardless of ability or style – and in the context of visual artists like ourselves, we sometimes use art to tell a story, other times to express an emotion that cannot be captured orally.

And one can argue that art evolved over the millenia to allow artists the freedom to express themselves in this way….

And why is that?

While doing some thinking about this subject, the big question I kept coming back to was…

How has art changed the world?

And we can go back to as early as our caveman days to see how art was used…

Cave drawings communicated a story to others on the conquest of man over beast with hunting.

Greek and Roman art explored sense of self with the beautiful human form captured with statues and paintings.

Art was used as morale-boosting propoganda for political figures, royalty, and religion.

Art was used to honor ancestors and dearly departed with beautiful colors and imagery to highlight the impact they once had on the world.

Art was used to celebrate the human being – with gorgeous mixes of colors that each represented what that culture held so dear.

Art provided a playground for highlighting the human condition – giving viewers a platform to feel, relate, and validate their own experiences – because it is presented in a way that rises above the mundane, everyday noise that is life.

All in all, art was used to portray the human experience AND communicate what it is like to be human.

You see…when we take the time to understand our past, it begins crafting a future that encourages critical thought.

Art cannot directly build buildings, cure cancer, or give you warmth on a cold night.

Granted, the assets of math and science are so incredibly important and vital. But, their very presence doesn’t negate the utter importance of art.

In fact, art is part of a ying and yang relationship.

As much as we need Objectivity, we also need subjectivity. As much as we need facts and formulas of math and science, we too need the emotional carriage that is art. We need both. One cannot live without the other.

In the past, we see time and time again that art promotes thought and perspective —> and with thought breeds action → with action comes creation. Inspiration then takes hold and the cycle begins anew.

In the past, art served as a fabric and bridge between countless cultures and people

Today, art is anything you want it to be

We have seen throughout history, and even today, that art does the following….

  • Changes the way we think
  • Challenges the given
  • Opens up unfamiliar horizons
  • Standardizes problematic views of the world
  • Prompts us to ask questions and put us into doubt
  • Serves as a barometer of society
  • Changes the world on the micro level
  • Energizes for a cause
  • A form of soft power that fosters dialogue, engagement, brings out opposing views

We need art in this world. For without it, we cannot evolve as a species.

If you are someone who had their love of art beaten out of them, who is afraid their art and therefore their self-expression means nothing, think again.

We are humans. We grow and develop when we learn to communicate and express ourselves. We need your art. We need your voice.

You never know who it will speak to. Whether it be to a 89 year-old woman or to a 3 year old male, or anyone in-between. Whether it be to a hot political issue or to yourself. Art always speaks an important message to someone who desperately needs to hear it.

Learn to use art as a constant source of support and encouragement for our better selves.

What is your opinion about art? Is it vital? Is it frivolous? Comment below and share your thoughts!

Until we art again,

-xo Amanda

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