Before a paintbrush or pen was ever invented, art played an important role in communication. For centuries, humans have used art as a way to pass on stories, history, and values onto the next generation. Art was even used to transmit more basic information such as where to hunt for food, and how to defend the village against predators. According to aasa.org, “art becomes an important force behind group survival.”
However, as humans advanced, so did the media in which art was created. While humans developed, so did which the ways that art was used. We often ponder, “Why is art important?” As many students brush it off as a hobby or passion that not everyone may find interesting. What many may not realize though, is that art is just as powerful as speech, or thought. In fact, art allows us to amplify what we think, or what we would like to say.
Not only does art amplify expression, but art is also purposeful. Art helps us communicate important messages that we may not understand in simple text. According to an article written by Andrew Tate, the brain actually prefers images, as seeing is our primary sense out of the five (touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing). This means that while we may not process an important message such as “caution: wet floor” if it were just text with no visual, we pay more attention when there is an image alongside it as well as bright colors (often yellow or orange).
Art also has an important effect on our brains. Creating art relieves stress, encourages creative thinking, boosts self esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment, increases brain connectivity and plasticity, increases empathy, tolerance, and feelings of love. Art also improves the quality of life for dementia patients, and can ease the burden of chronic health conditions.
Art is extremely powerful, and while it may just seem like a hobby to some, art can drastically change lives. So many think about taking up an art class, next time you’d like to expand your horizons.