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November 28, 2017

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Home » Feature » Education

Art appreciation helps in understanding world

WE live in a world that is full of visual images; therefore, we acquire a great deal of information and knowledge about our environment through images rather than merely through text and numbers. Illustrations, graphic images, charts, photography and creative text — all forms of visual art — allow information to be communicated beyond the written word.

Visual arts education vitalizes problem solving and critical thinking skills, enlightening students on how to interpret, critique and use the visual information they encounter to make decisions based on their experiences. It also helps students better understand the past. Historical and significant cultural events recorded in drawings, paintings and sculptures allow us to visually remember the past and record history for future generations. Visiting art museums and art galleries helps spark an appreciation of those artists who have withstood the test of time in their creative endeavors and their use of media.

In the Information Age, more and more students are creating artworks using keyboards and trackpads. Students benefit from developing new skills, training their fingers and creating new mental pathways. However, as art educators, we should not overlook the visual-spatial skills that students acquire in a traditional art class. Elemental exercises like gripping a paintbrush, holding a pencil, smudging charcoal, scribbling with chalk or crayon or squeezing clay are activities for improving fine motor skills and keeping them.

Drawing, painting and sculpting also provide students the opportunity to take a break from time in front of computer screens and engage in the pleasure of creating, allowing the right side of their brains to experience the joy, contentment, timeliness that comes with making art.

Learning is not limited to the information we acquire; it is dependent on how we receive information and how we interpret that information collectively, imaginatively, and meaningfully. An appreciation and understanding of art allows students to better understand the world, and it is an essential component of a holistic education.


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