Why Art in School

Why Art in School
Jesse Boone at Cradock Middle

Sometimes we are asked, “Why should we teach Visual Arts (or for that matter all arts) in schools?” Sometimes we struggle with the right answers, or the answers that will have administrators and politician pause and think about the questions that was just asked. If people do not understand the arts, then often they think it is trivial.

I read an article while authoring my thesis that basically said that more and more businesses are seeking MFA graduates over MBA graduates or are sending their executives to art based professional developments. The article went on to say that companies wanted creative thinkers and that this is what the arts do.

Think about it. Every day our students are faced with creating solutions to problems in our classrooms. We help them find solutions by asking questions like, “What do you think? or How would you do it?”

Remember that visual art is not concrete like other subject. There is not always one solution or a right and wrong.

So, if someone ask you “Why art?”, here are some answers.

This was part of an article I found on art advocacy at http://www.incredibleart.org/links/artedu.html#Advocacy

16 Goals for the Development of Visual Arts Education by Makio Kawashima
1. Visual Arts Education uses hands and tools/implements, and creates what we need to live. (Origin of Human Civilization)
2. Visual Arts Education provide visual literacy in the various modes of visual communication to include drawing, craft, digital art, studio production, art history, aesthetics and criticism. (Visual Literacy)
3. Visual Arts Education confirms the world and expression of children, and allows them to express themselves appropriately for their age. (Advocacy of Child-ness)
4. Visual Arts Education creates tools, and designs the earth and the world by using them beautifully. (Tools and Technology in Harmony)
5. Visual Arts Education confirms each child’s individual sense and expressiveness, assigns to relative values, and allows children to express their own feelings. (Respect of Individuality)
6. Visual Arts Education thinks using eyesight/images, and integrates concrete images into words and numbers. (Visual Thinking)
7. Visual Arts Education attempts to teach children to dream and to experience the joy of creation, not knowledge or skills alone. (Joy of Creativity) For that reason, visual art education teaches the basics while emphasizing multiple kinds of creative art experiences. (Enthusiasm for Creativity)
8. Visual Arts Education uses the specific “expressive and appreciative” activities that children use to create art to teach them to express themselves in many ways and to live their own lives. (Self-expression)
9. Visual Arts Education teaches integration and harmony in the various relationships between people, as well as in tools, materials, and knowledge. (Self-control and Cooperation) (Hands-on Projects)
10. Visual Arts Education turns Destructive Energy into Constructive Artwork. (Art Therapy)
11. Visual Arts Education aims at child-focused activities, and is opposed to instructors teaching unilaterally using particular teaching methods such as XX. (Opposition to Uniformity)
12. Visual Arts Education is based on a broad specialization in creative arts and consideration for children. Individualized instruction appropriate to each child is the ideal. (Individual Instruction)
13. Visual Arts Education develops a lifelong love of creative arts, a sense of beauty, and a rich capacity for self expression. (Self-realization)
14. Visual Arts Education enhances culture and fine arts for real development of human beings, and protects traditional cultural assets and copyrights. (Protection and Development of Culture and Fine Arts)
15. Visual Arts Education aims to build personalities able to deal proactively with all future issues with creativity and with self-sufficiency. (Contributing to the Society of the Future) 16. Visual Arts Education is inviting students to create a vision of Peace. (Peacemaking !)
Copyright (C) 2013 Makio Kawashima, Japan. All Rights Reserved.

The video below is by an art teacher. It’s an animated script that explains why we have art and how it promotes divergent and critical thinking:

Did you know that:
* 1.25 million Americans work in the visual arts.
* One in 111 jobs is in art and design.
* The economic impact of art and design exceeds that of sports worldwide.
* The creative industries are an estimated $30 billion export annually.
* Jobs in design have increased 43% in the past ten years.
* Yearly sales of art reach an estimated $10 billion in the United States alone.
* There are over 532,000 designers working in the U.S.
* More people are employed in the visual arts than in all of the performing arts and sports industries combined.
* 200,000 people are employed in the film industry.
* People spend approximately $55 billion annually on video games.
* The computer animation industry generates $33 billion annually.
* Jobs and employment in many creative industries are growing faster than the labor force as a whole and make up 30% of the work force by some estimates.
* America’s nonprofit arts industry generates $134 billion in economic activity every year.
* By 2016, jobs for artists and designers are predicted to increase by 42%.
* Arts-related businesses in the country’s largest cities represent 4.3% of all businesses and 2.2% of all jobs in the United States.
* There are 3 million people working for over 600,000 arts-centric businesses in the United States.
* Employment growth by arts-centric businesses since 2007 was 12%, more than four times the rise in the total number of U.S. employees.
* Designers are the single largest group of artists, followed by performing artists such as actors, dancers, musicians, and announcers.
* Employment of interior designers is expected to grow 19% from 2006 to 2016.
* Median salaries of: Creative Directors–$90,000, Art Directors–$86,505, Fine Artists–$48,870, Multi-media Artists and Animators–$61,555, Graphic Designers–$46,925, Set and Exhibit Designers–$49,330, Producers and Directors–$86,790, Broadcast Technicians–$40,270, Photographers–$36,090, and Film and Video Editors–$66,715.
* Wage and salary employment in the motion picture and video industries is projected to grow 11% by 2016.
* Animators, film and video editors, and others skilled in digital filming and computer-generated imaging have the best job prospects in future of the motion picture and video industries.
* There are about 94,000 computer artists and animators working in the United States.
* Jobs for photographers have increased 38% in the past four years.
Sources: Americans for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Entertainment Software Association
– See more at: http://www.incredibleart.org/links/artedu.html#sthash.8gCH6pbi.dpuf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *