Importance of Art Education.

The-Crown-of-the-World-collage The-Crown-of-the-World-collage

This is based on my thoughts lately and discussions with friends and passionate art teachers around.

I was blessed to have wonderful art teachers as I grew up and even now, who encourage me to draw as I please.
However, most of the schools these days do not have the budget to appoint a teacher exclusively for Art. So their Art class is usually taken up by some other subject teacher and given as a free period or taken over by geography/math class. I think this sucks. Art is as important as any other subject, irrespective of whether you would pursue it as a career or not.  It helps you be in sync with yourself. If you don’t know what’s going on within you, how would you be able to keep up with all that’s going on around you?

Another major concern is that students are conditioned to draw in a particular manner. There are set rules which we are expected to follow. The sun has to be round and yellow, grass green and the sky blue. Why can’t the mountains be filled with sparkle, the sun be a white shiny triangle, the clouds be green curls. And oh, why can’t we have two suns-one in the sky, one resting on the mountains. It’s my imagination after all. Let my mind think what it wants to think and not what it is supposed to or conditioned to think.

I love what Salvador Dali once said and often practised-“I cannot understand why human beings should be so little individualized, why they should behave with such great collective uniformity. I do not understand why when I ask for a grilled lobster at a restaurant, I’m never served a cooked telephone.”
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Art affects in ways we can’t imagine. When you give a person “no” for an answer, he/she starts closing up the window of imagination inch by inch. This not only affects what the kid would draw on the paper, but also affects what kind of thoughts he/she will allow his/her mind to contain. We must encourage imagination/creativity. This leads to innovation. If he wants to be the purple cow, let him be!
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This is also with reference to the constant need of trying to fit in in the society. I don’t understand why a lot of us feel the need to follow what is considered ‘good’ or ‘right’ or ‘approved’. Yes, we live in a community and it is good to be surrounded by people. But people who don’t allow you to be yourself, and expect you to let go of your eccentricity because they find it weird, those are the ones you need to be oblivious to. How difficult is it to live and let live, and while you’re at it support and encourage those around you to explore their true self rather than trying to make everyone around you like you. Don’t kill the magic inside of you, don’t even dare to think of doing so with those around you.  Let the sun be whatever shape it wants to be.
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