Why is Art Important?

Today, there was a post on a community I’ve just joined asking if an artist can change the world with their work. Perhaps I’m biased, but I’m inclined to shout “Yes” from the rooftops.

I’d be more inclined to do so if there wasn’t so much snow up there.

Anyway, that question got my remaining two brain cells rubbing together, and I found myself pondering why art is so important. So, naturally, I figured I’d compile a list.

This gent either ate something sour,
saw something he didn’t want to
see, or REALLY needed to make a trip
to the bathroom.
By access (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
  1. It Evokes Emotion
    Realize, I’m using “art” as a blanket term for multiple mediums. Any kind of art can make the creator and observer alike rise to unbelievable highs or fall to provocative lows. That depth of emotion is what gives life color and texture.

    To me, art only serves to enhance that, whether it’s through a masterful story teller, an outstanding musician, handmade blanket or stunning picture.

  2. It Spurs Scientific Advances
    Although the two may seem unrelated at first, they have deeper ties than immediately evident.

    Think about it. The act of creating something with fabric, wood, paint or ink accesses a person’s innate creativity. As they work, they encounter problems which must be solved in order for the final product to be born. Scientific discovery is a lot like that.

    Beyond those similarities, look at space travel and cell phones. Science fiction has inspired people to enter the realm of science, and the design of cell phones. Remember flip phones?

    If you’ve seen Star Trek, you’ve seen the tri-corders which flip open. In more recent Star Trek series, they had touch screen technology long before it existed in real life.

  3. Stress Relief
    I suppose this one goes along with number 1. When we’re feeling terribly low, it feels good to escape into another world for a little while or lose ourselves in creating something with our hands. The acts of viewing and making art provide that escape, and offers overburdened minds a chance to rest, if only for a short time.
  4. Out Comes the Inner Child
    I know I’m not alone in this one. Today, a box of fresh supplies came in the mail today, and I pretty much danced in place when it arrived. Even though I knew what was in the box, it was still a thrill to open it and get a look at the raw materials.

    There’s nothing like new yarn, fabric, beads, whatever else you craft with to bring the kid out in all of us.

    That joy helps make otherwise long days easier to endure and helps with your overall health.

  5. It Helps Us Be Ourselves
    The most important thing is how it helps with our self expression, and helps us find out who we truly are. Whether we’re using it as a way to get out of a depressive episode or using it as a way to find our spiritual path, we use it to find our inner health and how to live our lives.

These, of course are only a few reasons why art is a vital part of life, but they each illustrate why it should be valued and encouraged.

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