Editorial: Giving Thanks to Art

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An artist once told me that everything in our lives includes art—from the colors we pick for our furniture to the style of clothes we wear. It’s all art. Art inspires imagination, and imagination has given us everything we have.

I’ll make no qualms about it—I can’t paint or draw. I’ve never spun pottery, I can’t knit or sew, and my crochet stitches are never even. My photographs are probably Facebook worthy, but that’s about it. I can write, and I can play the saxophone. But above all else, I understand that art is invaluable, and in the season of giving thanks, it is important to appreciate what art has given us.

Kids exposed to the arts—whether through school or elsewhere—are allowed to let their imaginations soar. They can experience a world outside of their microcosm and begin to picture new things and create new ideas. If nurtured, as children continue to grow, their skills, from their craftsmanship to their sense of responsibility to their ability to think critically, improve. They become better students, better thinkers, and better producers, which could ultimately lead to better contributing members of our society.

Art has given us cityscapes that inspire awe and contribute to positive working environments. It has helped create and re(de)fine things like computers, televisions, cars, furniture, phones, houses, and a host of other things we encounter in our everyday lives. Art helps us understand the past and prepare for the future. It moves us and enriches us.

Art can offer us a way to escape. We can find calm by placing ourselves in the middle of a Monet or listening to a favorite song. We can dance. We can get lost in the stitches of our quilt. Or, if we prefer, we can let art help us face our issues head on, whether we write a troubling story to help us make sense of a tragedy or take or view photographs from a violence stricken area. We can hide or we can stand out. Art allows us all of these options. It runs the gamut of emotions and provides us with what we need.

Behind all of that are the artists. These are the people who have to be aware of the world in order to be able to expose others to it. They are the visionaries that keep us moving forward—whether they are using their skills to paint the thoughts that fester in the deepest parts of themselves or using their skills in design to help create a device that can detect and capture cancer cells.

Art is life, and I am thankful for the people that understand that and embrace that.

I am also thankful for the teachers, parents, friends, and others who put value in the arts and who expose us to art. They show us a world full of culture, style, and alternative viewpoints. They inspire, stir our emotions, and, at times, remind us that the world isn’t always pretty, but it is always beautiful.



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