Keeping art in our heart
Many of us make new year’s resolutions, make goals for the year, or at least reflect on the changes we would like to see. I am not much of a goal person, but like the idea of making a plan and identifying areas of focus.
I have two suggestions to make for this process.
More or less
First use more instead of less. Resolutions are often written as Drink LESS, Spend LESS, LOSE weight, etc. Instead think of Be MORE generous, Have MORE fun, Get MORE exercise.
Second, add the arts or creativity to your list. Such as Be MORE creative.
Why art is important
Here are some reasons that art may be more important that you think and why it may deserve a place in our yearly thoughts.
Artwork and creating can help improve our health – cognitive, psychological and physical. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201512/creativity-wellness-practice. Hospitals are using art programs as part of their healing process.
Studies have shown that students whose schools include art programs have better overall test scores. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022170624.htm
Cities which support the arts and have public art facilities or public art installments report lower crime rates and greater satisfaction among their citizens. http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/More-Murals–Public-Art-Decrease-Crime-Increase-Pride-262129391.html
Art can relax us and connect us to something bigger than ourselves. Having a favorite piece of art or making art can bring a sense of peace to us.
Creativity stimulates the mind and can lead to greater fulfillment and mental facilities. Art is uplifting and gives us a sense of higher quality of life.
When we buy local arts, crafts and artisan creations, we support the local economy.
So, here are some simple ideas to consider for your new year.
Take an art class. There are classes offered as part of many universities’ extension classes. Some high schools or school districts offer additional programs.
There are also single session events such as Paint Nite (I am now affiliated with Paint Nite and teach these in the Madison area.) There are other companies or organizations that offer these fun paint a picture/ drink a glass of wine events.
If you have kids, get involved with their art programs. If they don’t have one, see if you can’t help organize a neighborhood art program. Or make it a habit to draw and color with them on a regular basis.
Visit more museums or galleries.
Artist reception nights are a great way to check out new artwork in a non-threatening environment. There are usually lots of people at these evenings and you often get offered refreshments too.
See a local play or music concert.
Go to live theatre instead of a movie.
Why not make it a point of buying some art? If original paintings are too pricy, check out quality prints.
There is also wearable art – they are likely many people in your area that sell handmade jewelry, scarves and other wearable at art fairs or in local shops. When you buy from the artist themselves, they often make more and you support the local economy.
There are also handmade edibles (ever notice that increasing number of “artisan” labels on food?) and personal care products like soaps.
Buy handmade toys, furnishings and gifts from local artists. We did this by purchasing a hand painted fairy ballerina toy for our niece for Christmas.
If you are having an event or party, hire local musicians to provide entertainment.
Donate to charities are involve or support the arts.
Make your support of art obvious in your social media postings. “Like” Facebook pages of artists and art organizations. Post pictures of your favorites paintings or other artwork on Pinterest. Add comments to artist blogs. Give good reviews to art objects that you purchase on line.
Help raise the awareness and value of the arts.
Here I some things that I will be emphasizing this year:
Attend more art events.
Make purchasing decisions with the arts in mind.
Paint more in series – that is, create a collection of related paintings.
Use fewer brush strokes in paintings.
How are you going to make art a bigger part of your life?
Let me know in the comments below.