I have always enjoyed the arts. Growing up, I was exposed to great music as I tried and failed to play the piano, flute, and guitar. I was in dance classes by the time I was nine and during high school, I found a love of theatre.
Aside from my love of performing, I have enjoyed going to art museums, symphonies, concerts, ballets, and seeing live theatre for as long as I can remember. I like to believe that I am fairly well versed when it comes to the arts.
I cannot imagine how different my life would be if I was not exposed to art from a young age. There are a lot of people who didn’t get dragged to art museums as children, and now they feel disconnected from the world of art. Many people think of art as something that is inaccessible to them.
That’s just not the case. Not to me.
Art is universal, so why do so many of us distance ourselves from opportunities to partake in it?
Critics might say that art is useless, that it serves no purpose, that it is a frivolity in a society that values efficiency and technology, that art is only for the upper class. And although most of us have abandoned that idea, along with other medieval notions, there remains a large group of people that believe they cannot benefit from art.
So let’s take a step back, what do I even mean when I say art?
Art is the expression of human creativity.
I feel like I can easily make the statement that every person reading this enjoys art in at least one of its many forms. We all listen to music, watch movies, wear clothes--the list goes on.
Yes, art is also paintings and sculptures and theatre, but it is more than that. Art is what fuels our culture. Art is an illustration of passion. Who can’t relate to that?
In the words of Robin Williams in the amazing film "Dead Poets Society:"
"The human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."
Without art we would have nothing. We would all walk around like robots doing only what is absolutely necessary to survive.
I am saying that the fact that not everyone enjoys going to art museums is destroying our culture? No. But I am saying that we should all take a moment to partake in the creativity of the human race.
Artists have gifts and they choose to share their gifts with us. It’s time we all took note of that.