Art makes us think more deeply, strive more intently, and feel joy more profoundly. ~Unknown
Art is at least as important as advanced math so why is the art program one of the first to be eliminated when our schools have budget issues? We use art every day even when we don’t realize it. Our clothes, furniture and even the design of our homes are all forms of art. Many schools say we are required to take Algebra 2 and 3 so we can have more options for our career choice. If they want us to have the most options, then why isn’t the art program considered just as important. Some may say that it is a bit of a stretch for me to say that art is at least as important as math or science. I think art is more important than advanced math and science. Look at your typical day. We have already established that the design of your clothes, house and decor are all forms of art, but what about the little things we do every day that are enhanced by art.
First, art teaches creative thinking, in other words, creative problem solving. Have you ever had a problem that seemed impossible to solve? We all have! Art creates an environment for us to explore and try new things. The best way to solve a challenging problem is to look for a solution you haven’t tried before. Art helps us see things around us in new ways, which helps train our brains to think in new ways.
Art brings people with common interests and goals together. Art often starts important conversations and debates that often lead to a better world. Franz Kafka, author of ‘ once said “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” Books have ignited conversations for social change for generations. ‘The Holy Bible’ has brought devout Christians together with the goal to spread the gospel, for example. But, books are not just the only type of art that has brought people together. Autism Speaks used the art of event planning to bring more Autism education to the world through their walks and fundraisers.
Art teaches us to slow down. It is often said that art teaches us to ‘stop to smell the roses’ so- to- speak. Imagine you are walking down a busy street and you see a mural on a wall that is just a bunch of colorful shapes. The colors catch your eye, so you stop to admire it. You have slowed down. As you look, you start to see what that the lines and shapes almost look like a very colorful cat with lots of bright blues, reds, pinks and yellows. You have totally stopped your busy life for this piece of art.
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With all these great uses for art, why have we decided that it should be the first thing to go in our schools? Of all those who have changed our world, can you think of anyone who did not use art or creative thinking to do it? Of course not! So let’s get our priorities straight and put art at the top of our educational musts, again.
I was a nanny for over ten years. Now, I make homemade toys and write full time. Occasionally, I work at my local schools and provide back- up child care for some parents I used to work for and for my church's nursery. I am multi-talented and loves to paint, draw, crochet, write and sew.