Possessing a skill or interest in the visual arts can be a rewarding and enriching lifelong hobby. Art is not only fascinating to those who spend time on art forums or subscribe to fine art magazines, but it is a priceless historical tool that has unlocked countless doors to the past. Art has also been shown as an invaluable vehicle for learning.
Although there is overwhelming evidence that children learn better though hands on learning, it seems odd that funding for visual arts education continues to decline. According the National Education Association, when educational budget cuts are made, visual arts are usually among the first programs to go. Of course, this trend is nothing new, as the educational system in the United States has long been known to undervalue the arts.
Despite the fact that art education in the United States is treated as if it were superfluous and expendable, educational research continues to show a close relationship between art and learning. Contrary to some myopic perspectives, learning about and doing art accomplishes far more than committing paint to paper, for it strengthens the brain in ways core academic subject might fall short. Even though few students will ever make art that shows up in national art forums, or on the covers of international artist magazines, it is the artistic process from which students benefit.
According to Americans for the Arts, making art plays a crucial role in the development of motor skills, language acquisition, and cognition. Additionally, it augments subjects like math and reading by enhancing critical thinking and problem solving in creative ways. Educational psychologists and child development experts also claim that early involvement in the visual arts often leads to lifelong involvement.
While it remains important for students to become highly skilled in reading, writing, mathematics, and science, the best indicator of future success is often creativity. In fact, creativity and problem solving often go hand in hand. Although existing formulas that are taught through core disciplines can guide us toward feasible solutions to certain problems, creative problem solving is what leads to the cultivation of revolutionary ideas.