Art is an integral, but often forgotten, part of education. With the rise of standardized testing and focus on college careers, art education has been neglected.
It is hard to get support for something educational that is personal and non-measurable. But, there are many reasons that art education is an indispensable part of learning itself and society as a whole.
Art is learning in its purest form
Art is closely related to free play, which is one of the most important parts of a child’s brain development. For young children, creating art offers practice in many important skills that they need to hone:
● Motor skills
● Language development
● Decision making
● Visual learning
● Cultural awareness
These important skills translate to better understanding and performance in all areas of academia. A study by Americans for the Arts reports that children who are regularly involved in the arts are four times more likely to receive academic awards.
Using paints, pencils or sculpting material to express yourself is an extension of free play.
These activities need to be supported early on in education and throughout all grades. Think of the arts as exercise for the brain so that it can better tackle all the other subjects.
Without art, our society loses critical thinkers
Other areas like math, science and history are widely tested on memorization of facts. Art cannot be tested in this way because it is a creative act.
The beautiful thing about art is that it requires students to generate their own thoughts instead of repeat back facts that have been told to them. And, without original thought, we would have no inventors or innovators that our society thrives on.
Why not consciously cultivate this type of original thinking by making art a mandatory part of education?
Artists don’t have to starve
The most common response to any student who wants to pursue an art education is “How are you going to support yourself?”
The main deterrent of an artists’ career is that they won’t be able to make enough money, hence the term “starving artist.” This saying does not have to be true if the importance of art is accepted in society.
There are a lot of opportunities for artists to use their talents in existing jobs as well as creating new jobs.
When you help to fund art education, you are fueling education and a thriving society.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We share opportunities and news here on the Winkler Gallery and Art Education Center Blog.