The Power of Art: Advantages of Bringing Out Your Artistic Side
When a family member or friend mentions taking you to a new art exhibit at the city museum, the first thought that probably comes to your mind is, “No, thanks!” and you quickly come up with a long list of excuses that you can think of—your Literature term paper is due the next day, you have a Calculus exam to study for, you have your Chemistry lab group to work with for a project. Many consider art isn’t for everyone. Some say it’s for the erudite, while some say it serves no purpose at all other than have something pretty on the wall to look at.
However, art is an expression of creativity, and art is one of the most effective ways to show our passions and inner thoughts and emotions. Of course, not everyone can be the great Dutch Old Master Rembrandt, but everyone can try to be creative in their own way. These are the benefits that await you if you give it a try:
Art can relieve stress.
When we’re overwhelmed with school or work commitments, it’s good to indulge in the arts to relieve ourselves of mental pressure and anxiety. Since partaking in the arts means an opportunity to employ all the senses—sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste—it is therefore the pause we need to break free from our busy lives. In 2016, Girija Kaimal, an assistant professor of creative arts therapies at Drexel University, conducted a study of 39 participants ranging from 18 to 59 years of age. It was revealed that their cortisol levels (a biological indicator correlated to stress) were significantly lower after they were instructed to create whatever they pleased using markers, paper, clay, and collage materials in the course of 45 minutes.
Art can improve cognitive functions and critical thinking abilities.
Indulging in the arts can help improve cognitive and memory functions and promote critical thinking skills. Through art, kids can learn and acquire skills such as patterning and cause and effect (like mixing orange and red to make yellow). They can develop their critical thinking skills since they make a mental note of what they want to create and ensure they follow up on that plan. On the other hand, Denver Art Museum’s Art and About program is making efforts specifically to help those afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and bring their most cherished memories to life. Showing them works of art spark their memories and help them connect with the world around them today.
Art can drive curiosity.
An individual engaging in the arts develops an innate craving for learning new things and therefore establishes a passion of lifelong learning. In fact, studies reveal that those who have been exposed to the arts at a young age have more potential to be successful in fields of science and business where endless curiosity is critical for success. The best example of this is Leonardo da Vinci himself, who is famous for his Mona Lisa and The Last Supper paintings, as well as his numerous inventions like the parachute and anemometer.
Art can incite empathy and love.
Getting involved in the arts can enhance our empathy. In fact, the Minneapolis Institute of Art recently acquired a $750,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to establish the world’s first Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts. Here, a team of experts will work together to focus on how art museums can teach empathy and compassion. A mere visit to a museum where you can learn about other people’s stories can foster a deeper understanding of them.
After reading the advantages of arts, are you ready to try your hand at arts now?