Five Reasons Why We Need Art

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”
~ Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper - Eleven AM

Art, in its many forms, exists in every community, every culture, and every country. Art has been created since time began, evidenced in cave paintings and rock art, and in today’s world we know that art can be a major economic force, yet we continue to question the worth of art.

Often I have heard someone dismiss a work of art by saying, “I could do that” or “I don’t understand it”. Perhaps not placing value on something that we ourselves could make or expecting things to be easily understood speaks to the loss of thoughtfulness and creativity in our world and only magnifies our need for the arts.

Here are five reasons why I believe we need art:

1. Art is a Natural Human Behavior: Creating art is a primal behavior. Children, the world over, instinctively make. Every culture has art. Like language and laughter, art is a fundamental human behavior. Put very simply, art is a part of who we are.  We need art because it makes us complete human beings.

2. Art is Communication: Art, like language, is a medium to express ideas and to share information.  Art offers us a method to communicate what we may not necessarily fully understand or know how to express. Art helps us to share thoughts, ideas and visions that may not be able to be articulated any other way. We need art to have a full range of expression.

3. Art is Healing: Creating or experiencing art can relax and sooth us or it may enliven and stimulate us. The process of creating art engages both the body and the mind and provides us with time to look inward and reflect.  Experiencing art also gives us reason to think and be reflective or may inspire us to get up and dance.  Art provides a release, a place for reflection and away to engage our whole selves. .We need art to keep us healthy.

4. Art Tells Our Story: Art is a history lesson, an historical record, a preservation of culture, and an autobiography all in one.  Art documents events and experiences and allows us a richer understanding of history. Art reflects cultural values, beliefs and identity and helps to preserve the many different communities that make up our world. Art chronicles our own lives and experiences over time. We need art to understand and to share our individual and shared history.

5. Art is a Shared Experience: The creation of art is a collective activity. Art forms such as dance, theatre and choir all require a group of artists and an audience. Even the solitary painter or poet relies upon the craft of the paint-maker or book-binder to help create art. Art offers us a reason to come together and share in an experience. We need art to keep us connected.


50 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why We Need Art

  1. Dear Sally,
    I am working on a sermon about how God allows us to see his glory – the ultimate foundation for beauty – and I’d like to ask you, Do you think that art and beauty are the same thing? How are they different? Any comments you could share with me would be greatly appreciated.
    Blessings!
    -AlexV
    about.me/alexvillasana

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  3. I am an artist myself,and i do agree with what you wrote in that beautiful art article,I think people needs to be more appreciative to art because we are living around an artist universe.An all humans art are in itself because the supreme father made us all and that supreme is an artist.

  4. Dear Sally,
    I am an artist from Mumbai, India. I read your article and totally agree with you. I would like to congratulate you for bringing these points clearly to the audience. In addition,It would be an advantage to the ones who want to understand more about art….to interact with the artist in order to clear any doubts/clarifications…if any.

  5. Sally, I am using this article for the basis of my PowerPoint presentation for my high school art classes this year. Thanks for your insight.

  6. Dear Sally,
    I must say this intro is just what I was looking for. I’ve found your article enlightening and inspiring. I will also use it in a class. Thanks for sharing

  7. Dear Sally
    I’m a student from Macedonia and your intro was just what i was looking for to start my essay on the ‘Art’ theme. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Dear Sally,
    I would like to say that this helped me a lot on this PowerPoint I have for one of my freshmen classes.
    I chose the basic subject art and I wasn’t too sure I was going to find that much information, surely not on why we need art. When I found this, I was excited and my stress just vanished.
    Not only did it help out with the project, it gave me more of a realization on what art really is. I knew that Art is really important but…wow…you opened my eyes. Just…Thanks. Thanks a lot, Sally! I’ll be sure to credit you in my presentation! I promise!
    Sincerely,
    Just an unknown art hobbyist in Hawaii.

  9. You are dead on about art being a helpful for communication, I orgininally got into the visual arts when because I had communication problems. It worked miricles for me, I’ve had afew moments where I wished I’d brought a sketch book and a pencile with me when I was hanging out with friends just because sometimes I still need to use what I term my second voice.

  10. Thank you so very much for this writing! I am presenting a 90 minute program at our denomination’s state-wide annual conference entitled ReCharge, and this provides a good intro for me to spring from. I shall make note of your work and site! From here I can find many scriptures, images, points for discussion and a project! THANK you!

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  12. I am a young 13 year old girl who has been drawing for a long time before I one in fact. I’ve been drawing for a while and I’m an artist in training learning new art skills and forms. I was wondering what advice would you give to a young artist like me and other young artists?

  13. idris garba zagwalis hadejia jigawa state nigeria lecturer at jigawa state college of education gumel fine art dept. on said:

    iam very happy to see this comment in art i like it pls try to add more for us .

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  15. Hi Sally,
    I’m enjoying your blog so far. I am a newbie artist from Botswana. I consider myself a communicator (of life and my experiences). Oddly though, I often feel intimidated in the art world – not by art in itself, necessarily, but in sharing my journey as an emerging artist. In my community I still see gaps in the market for the appreciation of art. I struggle to find words to express the value of art, and of course my artwork, seeing as this is how I’ve chosen to make a living. But I think what I needed was to come back to the core of why I love and need art. I wholeheartedly share your sentiments, thank you for your words.

  16. sally, I was reading this and have decided to use it to help with my speech in English class. people don’t realize how much we use art in our daily lives and appreciate the things around them as they should and need too.

  17. Dear Sally!
    I am a student from Ukraine. And I have used your composition for writing my essay about role art plays in our lives. Thank you for sharing your article! It is very interesting and useful!

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  25. The reason people create “art” (as opposed to craft) is that they need the validation of others. If I feel secure about myself, that is to say I can self validate, I can produce something (because I love the process of creating) and keep it to myself, but if I need others to applaud my work in order to feel good about myself, I put my work out there. Once a work leaves your studio it is about your ego, you want others to see it. The equivalent for the poor souls that can’t create anything is their Facebook post where they might get a “like” if their lucky.

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  30. As for me, i believe Art is everything you consider it to be..Life will be would be static and sterile without the presence of ART. The universe itself, was an artistic creation from God, everything in it, was well planned and shaped for a particulier purpose . And that is what makes a Art. Ekundayo

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  33. Thanks for explaining why art is important. I appreciate that you mentioned that art can be like a preservation of culture. It also seems like a unique way to learn and understand cultures better, depending on how art could be portrayed.

  34. I’m in Sweden, writing an essay on “art in wartime”, and I was looking for ways to explain why art is important to the human soul.
    Thanks for helping me out!

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  36. I would simply say art in the narrow sense is generally person created in an attempt to put on canvas to reflect as best they can aspects of their surroundings.
    Beauty principally in nature is God given and available to stimulate the senses of the viewer.
    I’m looking a mature we admire God’s gifts; in Art we admire the painters skills on replicating what they see so we can equally the beauty and the talent of the painter.

  37. I loved it when you said that experiencing art can relax or soothe people. My brother has been looking for a way to decorate the interior of his home because it is bland right now. I will be sure to recommend he look into collecting art pieces and putting them in his home so that he can have decorations that help calm him down after stressful days.

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