“Art doesn’t transform. It just plain forms.“ ~Roy Lichtenstein
There is another quote that goes something along the lines of “no great culture has survived without art”. I agree with this, and would take it a step further: “no human spirit can be fully realized without art”.
The evolution of the human spirit has been the evolution of creativity, of creating oneself. Access to creativity is the key for survival as more than just plain old survival. It is the key to being truly alive!
The attacks on the arts in this country for the past 28 years or more, have done little to stop this creative flow. Actually, the opposite occurred. It is a time in human evolution where more people can see themselves as creators. The permission is greater than ever. Artists are funny this way; give them a rigid structure to deal with and they will make art about it, endlessly. Yes, often in resistance or anger, and often with amusement, but they will do it anyway.
They will write books, movies, plays; paint paintings, do performance art, sing songs, take pictures. What a glorious time in history to be an artist, and how many more of us there are. Technology has also cooperated with the arts, beautifully. As a painter, I can finish a painting, photograph it myself, and post it on the web, all in the same day. I can email its image to potential collectors, enter art shows online. Fantastic, I approve!
Back to the attacks on the arts. What about art in schools? What about the budget cuts that see art as a luxury, not as necessary as reading or math? I do not and never have seen art as a luxury, to be thought of last if we have a few more pennies to spend. To me, art is as necessary to the health and well being of the human race as clean air and water and healthy food. Why?
Art heals the human spirit.
The nightmare worlds created by many sci-fi and fantasy authors often portray dark scenarios in which humans are valued as little more than commodities, without regard for their humanity, their spirit. Hmmm… reminds me of something. Art fosters communication, rebellion, strength, community. Art helps a child to see possibilities, to create new pictures for her or himself. Art makes no sense, cannot be controlled, has no words sometimes. Art does not need to explain itself. It can be out of control. No wonder so many try to squash it, devalue it, destroy it.
Art can be used to bridge gaps between people, to create communication where there was none. No language barrier exists while looking at a beautiful sculpture or listening to music. Art is the tool we have to see each other and ourselves as what we really are: spirit in human form.
I welcome your thoughts on this topic, which I have only touched the surface of today!
©Kris Cahill 2007-2012 All Rights Reserved.