When Maggie (a student in my Blogging and Social Media class at the Cooper Center) asked me to write about why I like art, I knew the topic would be a perfect fit for a guest post on the students’ blogs (since their blogs are currently set to private, I thought I would share this guest post on my own blog as well).
Why I like art… As most artists would say, I have always been an artist.
In high school I wanted to be an art teacher because I loved watching my friends and peers who didn’t enjoy school light up and really thrive in the art room. I have always liked helping people and saw art as the perfect way to relate to my friends and others when they needed a little extra encouragement.
Since attending the University of Wyoming as an art and conceptual graphic design student, I have become passionate about using art and creativity as a tool for social justice, activism, and communication. Art can make a political statement much more clearly and directly without being a “slap in the face” than a good portion of the political dialog around us. People tend to THINK about beautiful art rather than becoming defensive and belligerent. When we can create a work that consists of both concept and aesthetic beauty we have created a powerful tool and made a difference in the lives of those who have engaged with the wok.
I suppose my simple answer to the complex question “why do you like art” can be summed up in one sentence. I like art because it is a wonderful tool to help make the world a better and more beautiful place.
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to use art, creativity, and innovation to work with such beautiful and wonderful people on a regular basis. The Cooper Center (click to see photos the Hip-Hop class I teach) is a perfect example of why I like art. We are using the arts to better the lives of people with disabilities (and all who come in contact with their work) every day.
PS I would like to thank Maggie, Nik, Eleanor, and Molly for inspiring this blog post.