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The Importance of Being Artistic: Why Art Programs Should Stay in Schools

Updated on September 30, 2015
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I have a B.A. in English with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I've been a Goth since age fourteen, and a Pagan since age fifteen.

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net | Source

Being creative helps people see things differently. It changes society. If everyone is taught strict rules thought up and enforced by those in power, the laws will not be inclusive of diversity. Each new thought adds a new interpretation. Many artists go through a period of being punished for their abilities. New ideas tend to cause controversy. When a new invention takes off, outsiders may become jealous of the artist's success; however, we need to embrace new ideas. After all, many things we use today were once seen as a threat before society fully understood its importance.

Are you an artist?

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Did you love art class as a kid?

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Art Education and Employment

I was raised by my mother, primarily. She has a bachelor's in art education, and teaches k-12. She had the honor of teaching two twin boys who grew up to have a future in art. It all started when the boys were in kindergarten. Their artistic abilities were advanced for their age.

They wanted to enter a contest, and my mom helped them prepare for it. After their second contest, they took first place each year until twelfth grade. Each time they entered a contest, the organizations would call my mom and/or the school to verify that it was the boys' work and not hers because it was college-level. Today, they are college graduates, and working as graphic artists in programing, cartooning, symbols, creating characters for people, and much more. Their preference is graphic art rather than fine, but they are skilled in both. That diversity in skill means they have many choices for their careers.

"Hereford bull large" on en.wikipedia - US Department of Agriculture. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
"Hereford bull large" on en.wikipedia - US Department of Agriculture. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Have you heard of Temple Grandin?

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Temple Grandin

People such as Temple Grandin are well-known for their ability to visualize their work. Temple doesn't understand language as well as she understands images. She takes notes by drawing pictures because that's how her mind works. Temple is known best for her invention of a humane dip for cattle in slaughter-houses. Dips are used to clean the cows; however, most dips cause cows to drown because they can't walk gradually into the water. Thankfully, Temple's dip keeps them calm and able to walk into the water without difficulty while being time-efficient.

Trying to fit everyone into a box slows our ability to progress as a society. If people such as Temple were not allowed to draw pictures to communicate their ideas, we wouldn't have some of their brilliant inventions. In fact, we probably wouldn't know who they are, and they would be trapped by their own unique way of expressing themselves; therefore, allowing people to express themselves the best way(s) they know how is beneficial for everyone involved.

Leonardo da Vinci: Yes! I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door!

Ever After: A Cinderella Story

A design for a flying machine, (c. 1488) Institut de France, Paris
A design for a flying machine, (c. 1488) Institut de France, Paris | Source

Did you know da Vinci studied so many subjects?

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Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was an artist who not only painted gorgeous lifelike pictures through studying anatomy but used his artistic talent to record his thoughts, and intelligent ideas. He was an architect, mathematician, engineer, inventor, and many other things. The journals he left behind display his endless list of interests as well as his unique ideas for those interests. One example of an invention was his flying machine. He invented the original concept for an airplane; unfortunately, none of his planes ever flew, but it started the journey to creating one that did. The idea for an airplane came from watching birds, and figuring out how they are able to fly. If he hadn't been skilled in drawing, he may not have been able to put together the original piece, and it wouldn't have been developed further by someone else to make one that did fly, later on.

Anyone who is more interested in da Vinci should consider watching Da Vinci's Demons. It is a show that premiered in 2013, and uses Leonardo's work in each episode. It shows the diversity of his studies when he was alive. Of course, it is also a dramatic show; therefore, it is designed for entertainment, ultimately.

Art's Importance

If art can change and improve the world then art must be recognized as having the same importance as science. Art is a form of communicating new ideas or interpretations of concepts that have already been established. Without new perspectives society will never change or progress. Just think of all the significant creations we have because of art. Now, imagine if artists weren't allowed to express themselves, and those vital additions were never made. What kind of world would we live in?

© 2014 social thoughts

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  • social thoughts profile image
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    social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

    bill, I'm thankful to have your input, considering your experience. It's scary how many schools lose their comprehension of the importance of the arts. I'm very worried about the future of education.

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    Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I was a teacher for eighteen years, and every year budget cuts would cut further into the Arts Department, no matter which school I was at. The Arts are crucial for a well-rounded individual, and I think it is criminal that children are being deprived of them. The current education system is failing miserably, and this is just one of the reasons why.

  • social thoughts profile image
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    social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

    sallybea, thank you for your comment! It is always refreshing to find others who understand art's value.

  • social thoughts profile image
    Author

    social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

    Thank you for your comment, Chris Neal. :)

  • sallybea profile image

    Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

    Art should definitely be part of the school curriculum - anything which develops the artistic side of people should be encouraged and nurtured.

  • Chris Neal profile image

    Chris Neal 2 years ago from Fishers, IN

    Nice primer piece. Very well-written. Thank you for sharing!