I have struggled for so long to figure out why art is important. Does it have a necessary and beneficial purpose that helps society? Can all art be useful? All of these questions lead to the biggest question for myself: why am I an art major?
It seems to be a constant battle in each art student’s spirit. The daunting question that parents, students, and teachers always pose is: ‘ooooh soooo… what are you planning on doing with your art major?’ … and possibly what is even worse is the lack of ability to reply. I believe this may be what causes the most frustration among us. We can give some answers … maybe teach, but if that were truly the case we should be art ed majors, or approaching grad school applications, in order to be qualified as teachers.
We could say we want to create and make a living from our creations, through gallery life, but I know that I am not alone when saying that for some of us that is not our true desire. We do not long to simply create. But how does one explain it?
and how does one sustain themselves, or potentially even a family upon that?
I have not reached all answers for those questions yet, but I had a wonderfully encouraging conversation with a fellow art major this morning, that helped me understand a few things about art, and who we are as humans, and who God is.
Here are some things that I have come to know:
As an artist they say you use a different part of your brain to think, process, and work from. I am convinced that even though you may be using a different part of your brain, the biggest part invested is your soul.
There is a different point of investment and connection that cannot be replicated in any other activity or study that I have experienced. When we tap into that part, and we sit and observe nature, human activity, or even simply color and pattern we are engaging with The Creator’s heart. It may be cliche but I have learned to see God in so many new ways through creating and processing art.
I meet God in art.
To experience and attempt to imitate and learn from the greatest artist of all… how cool is that..
when this happens I believe we are tapping into a part of God’s heart that he has placed within the artist. When we see the art created we tap into what he has put in all of us. It seems to speak to… possibly the eternal part of us?
I’ve been wrestling with why art has survived tens of thousands of years to this day and age. From the cave paintings to the current modern art, it still is relevant and valued by society. And the only answer I can come up with is the fact that God is somehow in it. That he meets us there. He perpetuates it. It connects with the soul.
My mom and I went on a mother-daughter outing to the art institute in Minneapolis while I was visiting home. While we were there, we visited the cultural sections as well as the ancient European, and modern. And as I was wondering through the African, Indian, Asian, Carribian, and European sections I began to realize something: I noticed that all cultures early art forms were created with almost a sole focus on the deity they worshiped. It all started out as a form of worship or offering, documentation or expression toward the god in which the culture believed.
So where is art today and how is it being used by God? What is it purpose today?
I am not entirely sure what happened to me when I realized that but I made a clear decision in my mind that all my art, from now on had to have purpose and meaning and a connection to the Father and his heart.
I want my art to inspire and make others aware of various issues around the world. I want my art to help raise money if possible, or be used by God to call others into his work. I want my art to not be my art…
God decided to inspire others in the same way. Another friend of mine is doing a show on a social justice issue as I was inspired to this summer as well. Two other friends of mine asked me to join them in an out side of school show where they (might) be using their various artistic mediums to compliment a show based on raising awareness for refugees and human trafficking. Another friend of mine invited me to be an honorary member of a school cabinet that was focused on raising awareness of all the various mission opportunities in the world, and to set up an art show in which students campus wide can participate! In my church in MN the worship leader has a vision to empower and encourage and incorporate artists gifts in the church worship. God is starting something anew. It is not new, but he is reviving the art and it’s usefulness.
He told me to be in this major, he told me to have patience, and to trust.
I am so excited.