Monday, August 6, 2012

Art is good, end of argument.

Art is good, end of argument.
written by Lisa Rasmussen

Art is our one true global language. It knows no Nation, it favors no race, and it acknowledges
no class. It speaks to our need to reveal, heal and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and
 lets us imagine what is possible." 
Richard Kalmer

All one has to do is look outside your door and you know something is a awry. There is the ever increasing population of homeless people on our streets, many of whom are veterans and/or mentally disabled. Then turn on your TV and look at the staggering facts of the increased incidents of domestic violence, abuse and sex trafficking within our communities. Also,  check out our “normal” adult population as a large percentage are addicted to drugs and alcohol for mood elevation and numbing.  No one can argue that in the 21st century there is a lot of disconnect and misery.
Things really have to change. Can Art and its process be a catalyst? 
It seems that the ever spiraling argument from our politicians is that Art is not necessary in our society, but war is necessary. This hawkish worldview has many flaws: It causes a lot of suffering and torture, and it costs a lot of money. Every year our governments slice away at the collective cultural, arts, and arts education budgets to aid our addiction to institutionalized violence. The arts advocacy folks have refined their standard and very convincing argument that the arts revitalize and actually create our economy, which they do 100%!  But for me there is an even more compelling and restorative argument here: that creating art is actually beneficial for one's own well being and for the community as a whole.  It is not a bandage for societal wounds, but actually an agent of transformation and healing. The bottom line is art is good!

Here are some facts about the benefits of art:
  • Nonverbal expression and communication: Art is a nonverbal tool that lets you communicate how you see the world. It gives you a chance to express and release your feelings.
  • Form of relaxation: The act of creating art can simply work as a needed distraction to clear your head of daily life stresses. A temporary retreat or escape from your everyday living. In the act of sketching or painting you experience the sense of a meditative flow, focusing on the enjoyable act of creating art.
  • Increasing Morale: Just as a child has fun creating art so should you. The nature of creating something, experimenting with shapes and color evokes as sense of playfulness. Watching your picture develop into a finished piece will also give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
  • Improving cognition: Critical thinking is used in decision making; what would you like to paint or draw; how are you going to capture this image or idea; what colors to use, where to place an object in your picture. Your attention span is also strengthened as you focus on your work.
  • Sense of self: Art can help to build a child or teenager’s self esteem, and as an adult it can help renew your self esteem. If you are going to take up drawing, painting or any form of art you are putting time aside to do so; putting time aside for this is special time you’ve taken and invested in yourself.
Here are a couple more lists that I found on line of why art is good/beneficial for childrenelders, and people with disabilities (click on the word to be redirected to the list).

Let the paradigm shift and lets all imagine a global art intervention!
Lauren and I have been on this quest since the beginning of our Art is Moving collaboration in 2008.  This is also precisely why we founded Take 5: ARTbreak.
Art can change the world.  Within its magic it empowers individuals and entices a knowing of freedom!

If you feel art is truly a beneficial for everyone in our society please join us on Friday, September 7, 2012 at Take 5: ARTbreak Day! Experience the bliss of creating together in your community. If you cannot make it to one of our sites,  take a moment in your day to take a break and create something!

A BIG thanks to this year's supporters of Take 5: ARTbreak Day!


We are always and forever looking for donations for this project.  Anything and everything you can spare goes directly towards providing an art space for all to enjoy! 

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso

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