First published by Lesli Walsh on 4/11/13 on Michipreneur.com
Art in some form or another has existed as long as man. It is a part of our daily lives and is present in cultures across the world. Most people have an appreciation for art. They enjoy observing it or creating it, they may even support it financially or by volunteering.
Art is integral in our culture because it provides us with a deeper understanding of emotions, self-awareness, and more. The following are all reasons why I believe everyone needs art in their lives.
1. It is a natural part of us. There is a drive within all of us to create and express ourselves through art. Observe any child with a box full of crayons and a piece of paper and you will see it. I believe that drive comes from a need to achieve a balance within ourselves. That balance is felt when you are creating something exactly as you wish it to be. Sometimes other forms of communication may fail to allow us to express ourselves completely, and this is when we turn to art.
2. Records the emotions of society. It is important that we know our history. We learn the dates, people and places of important events, and we even learn why and how they occurred. Art gives us a different insight into our history. It shows us how those events impacted the people living them. Through art we learn the joy felt during times of happiness and we see the pain and despair during times of suffering. We see the hopes and the dreams, or the fears and regrets of the past. Through art we gain a better understanding of how the events throughout history have shaped us into what we are today.
3. Helps us achieve a better self-awareness. We live in a fast-paced world of quick decisions and fragmented thoughts. Creating art allows us to slow down and experience the full range of our emotions. Viewing the art of others can give rise to emotions within us and help us explore and interpret what we are feeling. Understanding our emotions can help us heal, grow and improve ourselves. Increasing our self-awareness through art can lead to more success both personally and professionally.
4. Encourages critical thinking and better communication. When we create art we make decisions throughout the entire process. When we view art we make decisions on how to interpret what we are seeing. We use logic and reason to attribute meaning to what we see or what we create. Because art has such an emotional connection to us, these choices are passionate to us. We learn to defend them and explain them to others. Art not only helps strengthen our critical thinking skills, but improves the way we communicate our thoughts and emotions to others.
5. Bridges the gap between cultures. Through art we gain a better understanding of cultures in the past, but it also gives us insight into various cultures of present day. There are no distance or language barriers in art, it is universal. By observing the creations of people from other cultures we can gain a better understanding of their lives. Through art we are able to get a glimpse of another person’s existence through their eyes. It is a powerful tool that can improve communication and relationships between cultures.
6. Improves our daily lives. Art can make a community more beautiful. It makes the spaces we work in more interesting. Our homes reflect our personalities through the art we choose to display. It can inspire us, make us happy, or even motivate us. Living in a purely functional world would lack meaning for us as human beings. We need to express ourselves through art and we need to surround ourselves with the expressions of others. We always have, and we always will.
For a pdf version of this newsletter, follow this link: Photos for Healing Newsletter #109-Feb. ’16