I don’t have to tell you how fun art can be. Perhaps you make art. Perhaps you relish the time spent drawing and painting and sculpting. If you’re like me, you go to art museums to see works made from as long ago as ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and you enjoy art from every period in history. You also go to art museums and galleries to see how today’s artists are using interesting new technologies to make art. For those of you who practice art and for those of you who enjoy looking at art, you already know how transformative art can be. As former U.S. President George W. Bush said in an interview, “I do take painting seriously. It has changed my life!”
Art can move one emotionally and stimulate one’s mind. “I found I could say things with color and shape that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for,” said artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Indeed, the elements of art—the colors and shapes and textures in a painting, piece of sculpture, pottery, photograph or textile—can connect us to what lies hidden in our hearts and can spark our thoughts. “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” claimed artist Pablo Picasso. I’m sure you will agree that one should take the time to experience art. Writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe believed, “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture everyday of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”
So engage your knowledge and experiences as we go on a journey of art and nature and culture together. Each entry is a mini tour, in which I highlight a work of art or collection of works and ask you to make enriching connections between the visual arts and select topics in science, social studies, math and language arts. Some entries are more advanced than others. I suggest you click through the entries and choose the ones that are most interesting to you. Better yet, follow one of the museum tours. It’s easy to do. Just choose a theme and the grade level and make your way through the list. As you will soon discover, art is more than fun. As a recent New York Times article stated, art makes you smart!