Most folks when asked whether arts is important in the education of children, will certainly answer in the affirmative. If they have children, these parents are most likely encouraging their children to learn a musical instrument or get involved in some other form of the arts. However, these very people will hesitate when asked if art is important in the lives of adults. The answer to this second question is also unequivocally, YES! Art in your life is a good thing.
The arts in the lives of children have been shown to improve their fine motor, math, problem solving, social skills and much much more. Art also holds a lot of advantages for adults. The advantages of the arts does not suddenly stop when we become adults. Here are some of the few ways in which art influences our lives.
- Art is an outlet – Bottling up negative emotions can be harmful to mental health. Often, art acts as an outlet for emotions like anger, mistrust and pain which cannot be let out easily . Being able to relate to a work of art can be of benefit to both artist and viewer in that it helps reconcile emotional conflicts.
- Art is a reflection of life– Usually, the artist puts their own spin on what is available in nature. Even non-objective abstract art which is not supposed to be based on anything in particular, tends to be based on some thing. Thus, appreciating art affords us a way to live life through imagination, a way to use our mental faculties and reasoning to interpret what we see. For most adults, unless we create ourselves, the creative parts of our brains mostly go untapped. Allowing art in your life by going to see and appreciate art enables you to engage that part of your brains.
- Cultural Education Through Art: Many cultures are different from one another in varying ways. Art enables us to experience cultures far and near without having to actually travel to those places. Looking at Paul Gauguin’s painting of the two Tahitian women which recently sold for $300 million dollars, you learn something about say, the dresses Tahitian women wear, without having to travel to Tahiti.
- Wordless Communication: Art is used to express emotions which may not easily be expressed through words. The symbolism of art can be, for the most part, understood without the use of words. It’s a means of communication that transcends language. It can be appreciated by all, learned or unlearned; adult or child.
- Art Elicits Good Emotions: We surround ourselves with art because of how it makes us feel. As I’ve discussed before, beautiful things make us happy. Art has a way of eliciting emotions from both the artist and the viewer. In fact, during the expressionist movement, the main goal of artists during that movement was to create art that expressed their feelings as they observed the objects they painted. In other words, they painted their emotions. So both the artist and the viewer were emotionally moved by the art that was created.
- Art is therapeutic: The health industry has recognized the importance of art in our daily lives, that it has created a whole field of practice (Art Therapy) that uses art as a means of therapy for dealing with so many personal challenges in the lives of people. Some of these challenges that are dealt with using art therapy include stress, learning disabilities and self-esteem issues.
All around, art is a good thing to have in our lives. Let’s not just encourage the children but we ourselves as adults, should engage in and enjoy art. In fact, the more interest the adults around a child show in art, the more attractive art becomes to that child.
Let’s start a discussion. What do you think about art in your life? Do you make a special effort to include art in your family’s life? I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say. Leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading.