Who needs art?

Well, for starters – me.  (Please note that this post is entirely based off of my opinions.)

Yesterday, I was eavesdropping overheard  a couple of college freshman talking about their first semester classes and how some of the classes were not important.  I’m sure everyone has had this opinion of some class sometime in their life.  For me, it was statistics  – although now I see why it was important.  But, this one hit a heart string.  How could anyone think art is useless?  I could go on for days about why the arts are important, but here are just a few.

1.  Developing different areas of the brain and skills help to improve other areas.  Everything we do – from what we learn, to what we eat, to how we exercise is all linked together.

2.  You learn better through art.  You may not remember your calculus formulas, but you probably remember the lyrics to your favorite album, the color of the bedroom you grew up in or a piece of art you saw in your favorite city.

3.  A life without art is just blank.  Think of it – no color, no decoration, flat.  Art expresses the human experience.  Can you imagine a tree that never bloomed flowers and leaves?

4.  Art fosters creativity.  Learning facts and formulas is great.  But, there’s nothing creative about it.  If you develop the creative part of your brain, there’s no telling where it may take you.

So, for me art is essential.  It’s who I am.  I’m not saying that everyone should be an “artist” or that everyone should love all art but I think that everyone should appreciate that the arts are an essential part of life.  It helps us to learn and understand each other in a complicated world.  We are not simply machines that process information.  We reason, we feel and we have passion.

On that note, here’s one of my favorite paintings by Manet  called Bar at the Folies-Bergere.  Not only is the skill amazing, but this painting is one of the main reasons I love art.  The facial expression on the woman is unforgettable and it holds a sort of sadness for me. Take note of what’s going on in the mirror.  What do you think this woman feels?  I was fortunate enough to see this painting in person (it’s huge!) and it was an amazing experience.   Go enjoy some art today – everyone needs it!