#WeAllDeserveArts: Students deserve arts education now more than ever
July 10, 2020
The question of what art is, remains a commonly debated intellectual argument. One thing that is inarguable however, is that art is a platform for communicating and sharing information. Whether its content inspired from the soul or from a textbook, we create to share. Art exists to communicate and connect, ultimately forming community; and the communities which art creates are integral for our existence as a species. As social, visceral yet intellectual creatures, art becomes fundamental. For me, art is important because both information, and mindfulness, are important. Art is produced by intellect and emotion; it is a tangible expression of the human mind. My passion for psychology however, was produced by the diagnosis of a mental health condition. I was an artist before I was diagnosed bipolar, but, after my diagnosis, my entire view of art was transformed.
As a child, my mother would jokingly say that, to me, “nothing was garbage.” I would create ventriloquist puppets out of construction paper and helicopters from saran wrap, duct tape, and hangers. When I was in high school, I didn’t need to think hard on what I planned to major in when I would get to college. I majored in studio art, although my involvement with Wide Angle Youth Media had turned my medium digital. By college, I had experiences that had completely shaped and reformed both who and what I was. By college, I had a lot to say. My experience with bipolar depression throughout the entirety of my academic career cultivated a burning passion for psychology within me. Oftentimes, I say that the cultivation of this passion saved my life, and it is how I choose to inform my art. I never created art to express how I was feeling, or what my deepest depressions felt like. I did however, create art that expressed the
importance of mental health awareness.
Something about creating has always been special for me. The focus and intention feel personal. It serves as a pause from everything. Sometimes, art is simply about steadying your mind. A meditation of sorts. It isn’t always an expression of the soul, but a silencing of noise. Contrary to popular belief, art expresses far beyond what is felt; it expresses the self entirely. It expresses what is important to you, what bothers you, what, who, and how you are. It can express what words cannot, and can reiterate what words can. It allows space to think, to consider, and to do so carefully. Art is seldom rushed, but takes intention and care. When I feel inspired to create a piece, it is often inspired by something that holds a level of importance to me. When the things that are important to us are considered and accepted by our peers, it forms community. Art holds cultures and societies together, acting as a human right. We all deserve the opportunity to express ourselves, connect, and share through the arts.