Justifying Art Blog

The purpose of this site is as a sharing of thoughts, quotes, real life experiences, examples of how art has changed and improved your life. It is a blank page for your insights into how art has meaning for you and your personal and emotional health as well as our national social and political health. Please add your thoughts...

Friday, April 25, 2008

To Begin With

by J. Fred Woell

Art, like life, is a challenge. It challenges all our resources,
mentally and physically. It can't be predictably created from a linear
didactic formula. It eludes methodology, technology, or ritual. It is,
like life, more about being human, being vulnerable, being imperfect,
and about things unexplainable. It is not a science. Art is about
surprise, about the unexpected, about letting go and risking. It is
about taking steps towards places where there may not be any footholds,
and falling and failing.

Why make Art then? Why step out into the foggy night of the obscure,
and the impossible to predict? Because, despite the difficulties and
frustrations it is important to our inner-self. Art can heal! Art can
keep us well! It helps us move through the emotional suffering of life.
It helps us accept the pain, and gives us a means to celebrate the joys!

Art is part of our journey; everyone's journey! We are all separate and
unique, but we are all bonded to common truths. We all breathe. No one
is exempt from the night or mortality.

We know this, though we may attempt to ignore it at times. We all have
an inner side; an emotional side. We don't often talk about the
spiritual side of Art, the "Inside of Art", but our emotional self is
inseparably linked to our ability or lack of ability to create it.
Perhaps we need to talk about and acknowledge that side more than we
do. Perhaps we need to start learning how, so that we can get in touch
with ourselves, each other, and with life itself.

I believe we've just barely begun to realize how necessary Art is to
our mental and physical health and happiness. I think it is the unique
personal nature of Art that makes it potentially so potent as a vital
supportive emotional resource, whether we are its creators or, equally
important, its patrons. It is a critical life line between each of us
that reaches across and through cultural fences and nature's
methodically advancing time clock.

I feel that embracing the Arts is embracing life. Music, dance, fine
arts, crafts, poetry, and literature are not only useful as figureheads
of prestige and as financial investments; they are essential to living
a fruitful, happy, healthy life.