I recently read an article in the New York Times “Art Makes You Smart,” which reiterated the fact that art can have a positive effect on students. As a teacher, I have come to realize that this is very true. Art does make us think and thinking is what smart people do.
I have taken many groups to museums and galleries and even showed them slide shows of art masterpieces. It always seems to generate some sort of conversation. Some of the comments are subjective like “I don’t like that” or “I love the colors.”
Often the dialogue gets deeper as students relate the subjects of the art to their own lives. Sometimes they will comment that they once saw a scene like that in their neighborhood or while traveling. Other times, they will express that they could do art like that themselves.
These are all threads that weave together to create new and fascinating things. It does not always result in more art making. Sometimes looking at art just broadens the mind. It gets the creative flow going so brainstorming can happen.
According to the article written by Brian Kisida, Jay P. Greene, and Daniel H. Bowen, bringing children to museums “exposes students to a diversity of ideas that challenge them with different perspectives on the human condition.” This is great news as it affirms my thoughts that looking at art causes us to think and to ponder. It helps us get out of ourselves and thinking bigger. So get out there and see some local art in galleries and at some of the museums nearby. You might just get a little smarter! Please send me your arts related news to firstname.lastname@example.org.