Why Study Art?

Perhaps you think, “I’m not an artist, I’m not even any good at art.  Besides, I’m going into science, or engineering, or law, or business…”  But think again.

Visual intelligence and visual perception are vital in today’s world. Exposure to classically based art, with hands-on lessons, and awareness of art history will help you, or your child, develop in several critical ways.

  • Compassion and empathy: Research shows that studying great works of art with a trained teacher helps individuals see more than the surface.  By learning to analyze paintings and uncover the stories behind great works of art, compassion and empathy are improved. Many medical schools are now including a visual arts segment for this specific reason. But medical schools are not the only field that understand this important skill:  law enforcement, forensics, law and Executive level business schools are now beginning to see the vital importance of the skills gained by studying great works of art.
  • Discernment of Truth: Recording what is really in front of us – without bias – teaches the student to look for the truth of what they see.  All humans have preconceived ideas of what something looks like.  By learning how to see and draw something realistically, the student is learning how to see truth and bypass preconceived ideas.
  • Creative thinking: Learning how to see objectively as well as how to analyze works of art help us see possible solutions to problems.  To quote Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.
  • Visual Intelligence: Our modern world is visual – we are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 images per day.  Learning how to focus on what is important, and what is not, is a vital skill.

Amy E. Herman who wrote “Visual Intelligence.  Sharpen Your Perception, Change your Life,” tells us:

“Always ask questions, especially of yourself.  No matter how obvious it seems to you, state what you see, because it’s possible that no one else will see it. . . When we choose to see the world differently, with a critical eye, we are choosing to be exceptional. . . What was first a simple still life is now ripe with possibility. What do you see now that you did not before?  The painting itself did not change.  You did.  Now you’re seeing what matters.”

Art class is for everyone.

Materese Roche, July 2018