Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Art and Global Awareness

These articles support my strong belief that educational institutions rich in art education provide a major framework for global awareness.  Every culture (past, present, and future) produces art in a myriad of forms.  The institutional study of visual art, music, theater, and dance allows us to transcend cultural boundaries (and the barriers of language) by exposing us to forms of expression that we have in common with other cultures.  This can only lead to an appreciation of our differences as well. Art frees the soul, and freeing the soul permits us to be curious, flexible, tolerant...therefore, global in our perspective.  We learn about our own community through the foundation provided by the study of Art.  We learn how to work together, how to appreciate each other's work, how to critique in positive ways- and this translates to tolerance  of other cultures as well.  We are inspired by each other and value each other's differences because of the fundamentals provided to us by the study of  Art.  Exposure to the creativity of others expands our consciousness and contributes to mutual respect.  Art can be (and is) a powerful instrument of peace-it teaches us critical thinking and deductive reasoning.  A strong, integrated Arts program should be the framework for providing future generations a platform for global tolerance.
 An example:  The children of Ben and Maria's Kindergarten class created African Mud Paintings. The children learned about African symbols which were incorporated into their paintings, as well as literature and history.  They experienced working with a medium (mud!) that is not typically used in Western Art.  Not only did their paintings provide a framework for learning about another culture but they saw commonalities with their own. Their paintings contributed to conversation and inspiration for more exploration of  Africa.They also discovered that their art had the power to make  people happy when their mud paintings where displayed for our Morse Building Community.

Maria Lindberg

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