What is the point of art? Did you take art in school? Do your children? I must confess, art was far from my favorite subject in school. I never felt like I was very good at it, I didn’t see the point of it, and was happy to get my required art classes out of the way. How wrong I was.
Many schools are facing serious budget restrictions and are making the choice to cut art and music programs. With the emphasis on test scores and ensuring that no child is left behind, many school administrators are asking “what is the point of art?” And not finding a satisfactory answer, they cut the art program.
I am so fortunate that my children attend a school that values art. When asked “what is the point of art?”, listen to the response: “Our emphasis on the arts rests upon a fundamental belief that all true education begins in wonder and depends upon the imagination to flourish. “
Perhaps the point is not a question of whether taking art will improve test scores, though studies show that arts education does actually improved academic achievement. What if the question is really one of character formation instead of information?
If we were made for beauty, then it only makes sense that participating in the creation of and appreciation of that beauty helps us to be who we were made to be. Numerous studies show links between access to art education and fewer incidences of disciplinary problems, greater community engagement, and a more cohesive school culture.
Let’s not ask “what’s the point of art?” Instead, let’s ask “what would life be like without art?” Or consider what kind of people we would be without art. The thought of a world devoid of art sounds like a great setting for a dystopian novel (but that’s a project for another day). You don’t have to be a professional art to participate in art. Grab a sketchpad, some pencils and hit up your local art museum. Our local one even has special days devoted to sketching in the galleries and they provide all the materials!
Or take note of our #FunFriday series on Facebook and Instagram. Each week we highlight an art event in various cities. If you’d like to see your city featured, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
What are you waiting for?