Monday, December 5, 2011

Art and Science...You Can't Have One Without the Other!

My youngest's self-portrait done in the style of Chuck Close
One of the things I love about living here in Spain, is that the kids's school has a great art program.  Our school district in Texas had dedicated art teachers in only 3 out of its 32 elementary schools.  Teaching art was the responsibility of the classroom teachers.  They did a great job, but what it speaks to is the importance the school district places on art.  Obviously, given the numbers, art was not our former school district's top priority.  Since resources follow priorities, it stands to reason, they probably weren't given much to work with.  I'm of the opinion that even this ever increasing tech-loving world, there is still a place for art...maybe now more than ever.  Advances in technology, innovations and medical miracles, require us to think outside of the bounds of what is already here...sometimes creating something out of nothing!  A perfect metaphor for this is the creation of a work of art.  A blank canvas becomes a Starry, Starry Night...and something that never existed before is born!  What is so wonderful about art, is that you don't need much of anything to create it.  The only thing absolutely required is your imagination!  I don't think art is so much about about what is created, but rather creation itself.  All creation requires inspiration...and what is more inspiring than art itself!

Through the study of art, and the chance to create it, a sense of openness is born...an opening of the mind, the heart, and often the soul!  Obviously, we've all looked at something in a museum...a painting, a sculpture, a rope hanging from the ceiling in an empty room...and said, "That's art???"  The same was said of the works of so many of the people we consider to be masters today...Picasso, Matisse, Serrat, etc.  But they were allowed, and even encouraged to create...to share their imagination with all of us!  This same theme can be seen when you look at the Leonardo DiVinci, Wright Brothers, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and many more...So art and science aren't really so far apart at all, in fact I think they are intrinsically linked.  Two and three year-olds don't know how to write a computer program or build a robot, but they do know how to tap into their imagination and put crayon to paper!  That is where it all begins at the most basic level.  That's why I love art teachers!  They open our kids minds to a whole new world, and if they learn how to tap into their imaginations as children, who knows what they'll create in the future...maybe something that will change the whole world!

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