Inspiring children and shaping the future through art
An attempt to search “What is ART?” on the Internet will spool thousands of answers. Regardless of how simple or complex these answers are, there is a common thread that runs through all of them; Art is about people, creation and expression. One of the most apt definitions says that art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts, expressing the author’s imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. This communicates that art takes up a variety of forms, that it is a science and that it is often aimed at evoking emotion.
In this decade, the appreciation of art is no longer stalled till an artist dies but is often experienced at the peak. This is largely due to the emergence of curators who consistently identify talent and seek platforms to show case them and how the common man can now afford masterpieces. It is also important to note how art has been used as a powerful tool to project culture, be a voice of the populace and a marker of the times. Art will in the future be used to tell the stories of today and give a true sense of what the people of present times feel.
It is in identifying how powerful art can be that in recent years there has been a debate on why typical school curricula tilt heavily toward common core subjects of reading and math, but not art. Although some may regard art education as a luxury, research has shown that simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. A Deasy & Stevenson study in 2002 has shown that arts teaching and learning can increase student’s cognitive and social development.
The arts can be a critical link for children in developing the crucial thinking skills and motivations they need to achieve at higher levels. The sequential progress of child development shows that children move from simple to complex abilities. Art activities create the necessary connection and provide children with sensory learning experiences they can master at their own rate. The brain is stimulated from sounds, movements, colors and sizes; neural connections increase and the brain is exercised and strengthened.
This conversation about the adoption of art into curriculum is worthy of praise as it will further impact on confidence, self-esteem, behavioral health, breaking down language barriers, cultural prejudices and leading to decreased social problems. It is this “soft side” which is difficult to measure that this article is dedicated towards.
Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. However, it is the art itself that builds character and personality. The freedom to continually express oneself on mediums has a way of reaffirming who you are and what you truly believe in. This is one of the reasons why children should be engaged in these activities and allowed to freely express themselves.
Tutors will be amazed what this process will uncover about the children under their care. Another key activity is to get adult artists to create and display artwork amidst children. Because of how impressionable their minds are, what this does is to inspire them to create better art and better express themselves. They learn about the dynamics of a mentor and mentee at such an early age. These sort of activities yield greater results in “less privileged” communities as these children are taught to never be limited in their thinking and to aspire to become all that they dream to be.
Art is a language that allows us to express and develop our ideas and emotions. Within it are processes that can not only help children to grow but also guide them to being limitless in their thoughts and aspire to becoming the very things that solve challenges they see around them.