| 14 August, 2012 17:07
To gain perspective on the value of art, I decided to go right to the source and interview parents, adults and educators. I have always been a great cheerleader for creativity, but I wanted to hear insight from others on how they view the importance of art in life.
A principal of a middle school said that a strong art department is very important because of fostering creative thinking. She said that sometimes it is a problem to convince students that art is worthwhile. One way to do this is by a continuous display of art work around the school. This shows the students that their work is important, and the time spent achieving a creative result was well worth it.
Carol, former teacher and mother of three, has campaigned at her children's school for exposure to all of the arts through classes and an arts fair, emphasizing music, art and theater. She wants her children to develop an inner sense to appreciate the beauty of creativity and historical works of art.
Linda, mother of four, said that all of her children have won awards at the Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival. Her children are both athletic and artistic, and she would hate to think that they were not offered any options to expand their talents.
Paula, mother of two and foster mother to 29 children, believes that art appreciation should be emphasized starting at a young age. She grew up thinking that only snobby people could have an understanding of the arts.
Traffic engineer Bruce said that the more he is exposed to art, the more he appreciates it. Craig, a civil engineer, whose only experience with drawing skills has been with a straight edge, said that children with no aptitude for studio skills should take art appreciation. That way they would still have a basic understanding of the skills required for creativity.
Real Estate agent Robert said that he still regrets the fact that he didn't have enough exposure to the humanities in school. His creative needs are now being met by taking piano lessons for the first time at age 38. He will make sure his three children's creative needs are met.
Elizabeth, mother of three, thought that there are too many adults today who are culturally illiterate. They had no exposure to the arts growing up, and it shows. She laughed as she said the game of Trivial Pursuit shows how few adults can answer the arts and humanities questions! Life is creative, and she wants her children to think creatively. The arts along with the 3 Rs should give them creative problem solving experience.
Punky, a community arts volunteer, summed up the need for continued support of the arts. When a city is growing economically and in size, big corporations look for a strong cultural infrastructure before setting up business. Therefore, it is essential to educate young people who will one day be making the choice to support the arts.
I was very happy to hear these honest insights. Is art important? Yes! We must continually reaffirm the value of art and its contribution to our society now and in the future. Arts round out education and enrich life. I'll do my part and keep painting!