Many small towns and villages have arts councils. My town is no exception. Staffed by volunteers, these people spend their time to encourage the creative arts. It came to me many years ago that one of the first things a school eliminates when budget pinched is art education, yet how ironic it is the administration wants the walls plastered with student drawings and pictures when there is a PTO meeting or another such event. Why? Because art enlivens the school. A town supports murals because they enliven the town. Art is necessary, and the question is why? Why buy art?
Recently I came across a little article in the Michigan Art Guide that is worth passing along here. It answers the question as to why a person spends money to acquire a painting or a drawing on canvas or paper. Here are some reasons to buy or appreciate art:
It can transport you to other places,
Adds color to a room or one’s life,
Piques your curiosity,
Brings back special memories,
Reflects on enduring values,
Can be a solid investment,
Can inspire one’s creativity,
Provides a sense of welcome and warmth,
Visually expresses your tastes and values,
Captivates and intrigues,
Enhances your architecture and balance in a room,
Can help you see and think more clearly,
Rewards creative, hard-working artists,
Affects you subliminally,
Brings beauty, joy, and conversation into your life,
Makes a great gift that keeps on giving,
Changes your attitudes for the better,
Speaks to what you love most,
Is a very important part of our human experience.
There are more reasons, but these are worth considering. I have enjoyed art to the extent I have no other places to hang or place them. Even so, I look for more art and when I see a piece that stays with me, I value it, and sometimes make a purchase. What to do with all this art? Probably I will bequeath it to my children, who will no doubt will sell some of it and let the rest go. Some will be given to a local museum, but for now, I will enjoy these pieces and know I have rewarded someone by affirming his or her talent and worth.
I value the fact that my neighbor is an artist with a studio. We vacation in Michigan and stay at the cottage of an artist with a studio. Of course it’s coincidental, but it makes me happy. As the article states, art is not necessary to sustain life like food or shelter, but beyond basic requirements, “for many people who want to live fulfilling well-balanced lives , a work of particular beauty or mystery can have a powerful effect on us. It can alter our mindset, slow us down, change our perspective or raise our spirits.” I suppose that explains why I am a member of our local arts council.