These days art is not valued enough in our community because of the lack of knowledge of how art can influence and impact the world. The sizes of art classes have been steadily decreasing every year. Even worse, when students were asked why they took art classes, many responded that it was simply because they needed the course credits. Instead of viewing art courses as something to check off the list, students should take art more seriously, and the school should do a better job in promoting the arts.
When asked about her opinion on why students aren’t engaging in art design and activites, Nicole Johnson (11) replied, “It is because of the lack of spread of information about the opportunities within the art department. For instance, I took beginning ceramics in freshman year and did not realize that it would be something I would eventually continue with. But now I have grown to love it, not simply as an extracurricular but just as a stress reliever. Too many of the students here are so focused on getting into college and so they believe that art is not academic enough to support their applications. They shy away from it. I don’t think they realize that art can actually help with a lot of stress and anxiety and that if they work hard and enjoy it enough, it can even be something they show to colleges as an impressive skill.”
Often, people refuse to take a chance on these art classes because they believe that art is not a challenging subject and that it will have no use in their future. Contrary to what people believe, art is more than just doodling and painting with colored pencils and paint. For example, The Apple Company became famous, not only for its astounding technology but for its use of color and design that is easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. Before Apple became popular, they were no different from the other companies, such as Sony, HTC, and LG. However, when they added colors into their products, such as the IPods, and changed their interface design to a simpler form, they became the world’s largest tech company. If the students knew how big of an impact art can make in our society, they might think of art classes as something more valuable than merely a class to check of the list.
Another factor that students should consider is that in our current society, technology has replaced many jobs and fields of studies. However, no matter how advanced technology can get, creativity fostered through art cannot be replaced by any technology. The creativity necessary in art and design comes from feelings and deeply rooted thoughts of people; it is a way of communicating the feelings that only humans can feel and express. Every innovative app came from a creative thought.
The CEO of Airbnb and alumni of Rhode Island School of Design, Brian Chesky proposed in an interview that when he was not able to book a hotel room, he and his friend asked the creative question, “Well, why don’t we just create a bed and breakfast for this conference?” He continued, “We pulled these three air beds out of a closet. We inflated three air beds, and we called it the “Air Bed and Breakfast.” This essentially is what led to one of his greatest achievement, Airbnb, which is now one of the best online hospitality services.
Art and design may have changed and adapted to society throughout the ages, but it has never died. In a society where there is an increased demand for creativity, innovation, and originality, there needs more appreciation and support for art and design, especially for high school kids, who will be shaping the future.
Photo by Creative Commons