What is Art?

"Art is not a thing — it is a way of life". ~Elbert Hubbard

As educators, why do we have to justify art as a support to reading, writing, and mathematics? Yes, art supports and is supported by curriculum, but we make justifications in order to validate the time it takes for children to express themselves.

The innovative nature of art does take time, but it is time that forms the basis of so much more. Art is an expression that helps children feel, think, and act on their inner world.

  • By expressing their feelings and emotions in a safe way children learn to control their emotions and recognize that they can express and handle negative as well as joyous feelings through positive action.
  • Practicing and gaining fine muscle control and strengthening eye-hand motor coordination helps children learn to use writing tools and other implements.
  • As children observe the world and try to replicate it through art, they develop awareness of colors, shapes, forms, lines, and textures. 
  • By seeing that others have differing points of view and ways of expressing themselves, children begin to understand that we see things differently.. 
  • Children become aware of the idea that, through art, culture is transmitted. Becoming acquainted with the art of the past, children are involved in learning something of their origins and themselves.
  • Because art leaves the end open to the creator, all children experience a measure of success. 

One of the most important questions we can ask a child is....oooohhhh, tell me about your work OR What were you thinking about while you were working? The process of observing and conveying meaning through art is time spent developing future skills while experiencing the joy of creativity.

Post by Steve Zwolak

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