Art is beautiful. It conveys emotions, ideas, and philosophies. Art unlocks our unconscious processes giving us greater insight to our own psyche and a peak to the collective consciousness. The unfortunate thing is that too many people feel that art is out of their reach. They have come to believe that art is something only created by people whose work shows up in galleries, museums, and the pages of magazines. Is art really inaccessible?
I was invited over to one of my neighbors last week for a get together. On one of the walls were about eight drawings, all framed, and created by their daughter. The work was hung as proudly as any work of art bought in a gallery. It was not only a testament to their pride of their daughter’s creativity, but acknowledged the importance of her persona in the home.
A study done in an arts magazine a couple of years asked students starting in kindergarten about how they perceived themselves in relation to art. The youngest participants when asked if they felt they were artists answered yes unanimously. When the researchers asked fourth graders (about 9 years old) about sixty percent felt they were artists. By the time the researchers got to the high school students, only about 2 students in the class felt they were artists; what changed their self-perceptions?
Dave Burns, a sculptor, was interviewed on the PBS series Arts District. Burns said, “You don’t have to be an artist, you just have to start.” I believe what Burns was saying is that you don’t have to be a professional artist because we’re all artists in our own way and not expressing ourselves is the real shame.
Art heals! Art allows us to be true to ourselves making us more authentic in all aspects of our lives. Allow your inner artist to peak through and grow over time and watch the changes that will take place in your life!
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We create work that is meaningful to us and represent our life stories. We share not only events in our lives, but our belief system, our hopes, our political leanings, and our like Julie Andrews sings, “A few of our favorite things.” Our art makes us transparent. It’s not that we’re not leaving anything to the imagination, we’re just choosing how and when we let those unspoken areas of our lives reveal themselves.
It may be easier for some of us to show how we think and feel about something rather than speaking an explanation. Gia Mora is a cabaret singer with a unique twist. I saw a segment about Mora on PBS’ Arts District. Mora created a cabaret show that incorporates music, humor, and academia; yes you read it correctly…academia. It’s a unique twist, but emphasizes the power of art to explain what some may feel are complicated intellectual concepts.
Gia Mora uses art to disarm the public about science and technology. We are continuously looking for ways to engage kids in the fields of math and science and Mora may have the method to draw them in to those subject arenas. When we utilize creativity to share a concept we expand the possibility for connection between us all.
The concept of teaching through art was emphasized in the television movie “The Ron Clark Story”. Clark left North Carolina and went to the inner city in New York and taught kids previously thought to be underachievers. When teaching these kids about the Presidents of the United States, he created a rap song about the presidents and a factoid to help them remember the order. These kids thrived because Clark was able to tap into another part of their brain, their creative side, increasing their capacity for learning.
Looking to share something that others don’t quite get? Try using your creative brain and engage others through art because art is a common denominator!
Hoping to share something about the interruptions life presents? Visit http://www.survivingstrong.com
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Ever go to an art gallery, museum, or a friend’s studio and see a work of art that you don’t understand? Have you ever left feeling less than excited about a work of art? How about your own work, do you have a favorite? Is it the same piece that others have as their favorite? Art is great because it creates experiences. Our life experiences and what we’ve been exposed to influences our taste, that’s why there are so many different forms of art; something different sparks a different note in each of us.
Jason Rohlf on a recent episode of Arts District shared, “A favorite painting for the artist may be a different painting for the viewer. My favorite paintings are the ones that we the most challenging, gave me the most trouble.” If you look at creating art from Rohlf’s view, it’s the challenge that endears the piece to his heart. His experience of challenge and overcoming that challenge make the piece more meaningful to him because he’s connected to the process as well as the painting.
Do you create stories about the art you see? If you do you’re creating stories based on your own life experience. We all have filters that we use to process our experiences. When we see art we filter our likes and dislikes and when we connect to a song, a poem, a painting, or a sculpture we make it a part our lives. We sing the song, recite the poem, take pictures or purchase the sculpture, or buy the painting. We want these creative expressions to be a part of our lives because they have meaning for us.
Lilly’s Oncology on Canvas is an example of how life perspective influences our creative endeavors. This art exhibit is work created by cancer survivors. There are times when the emotionality of the piece may be too hard for a viewer, but it’s the honest expression of the creator. I have work that was created when I was having a flare of my autoimmune disease. The work isn’t “pretty” but it’s quite meaningful. Is it the first piece people are drawn to, perhaps not, but is it an honest piece based on my experience? ABSOLUTELY!
Allow your experience of art to guide you and inspire you. Allow your experience of art to instigate a rebuttal expressed through your own creative expression. Your experience of art can provide you with an outlet for your own story, don’t let the opportunity pass you by!