Art Is Essential

Art is a way that people can express and process their experience of life. It allows them to express emotions, perceptions, and provides a way for their spirit to be free of the limits of the physical or psychological environment. This post was inspired by a two posts on Hyperallergic “Seeking Escape in Painting,” and “A Painter’s Dreams Go Up In Smoke,”  about an artist, Brandi Twilley, who paints a picture of her bleak childhood surroundings yet includes a window with a beautiful blue sky.

“The paintings, which mainly feature the home Twilley grew up in until it burnt to the ground when she was 16, depict windows in a subtly astute manner. They function as portals in curious ways: they indicate the painter’s glimpse of spaces beyond the bleak circumstances of that house, and in seeing the significance of these spaces through Twilley’s hand, I identify with her and wish for that slim chance of escape.”-Seph Rodney Hyperallergic

This brings home to me how powerful and essential art is to our lives. It may be the only way for some people to express themselves, it is their language and best or only way of communicating.  Supporting art in schools and the community is as important as supporting language arts, math and science.

Matt D’Arrigo who started the nonprofit ARTS ( A Reason To Survive) in San Diego says,

“Having the arts taken out of schools is a form of identity theft,” ….. “There are lots of creative, artistic youth who are being told to fit into certain boxes. They are being told that what they do is nice, but it’s not important. That’s saying they are not important.”

To eliminate the opportunity for people to develop their artistic gifts is wrong. Here’s the article about ARTS.

“ARTS started with a single success story: D’Arrigo’s. He was unclear about his own identity and purpose when his sister and mother were simultaneously stricken with cancer. He left college his freshman year to care for them, and, in the process, found solace in painting and music.”-James Chute San Diego Union Tribune

A recent article about what ARTS is doing to help lift up a whole community.


Brandi Twilley Where The Fire Started exhibition at Sargent’s Daughters.

This post is part of We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB hosted by Damyanti Biswas and cohosted by  Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, and Mary J Giese

Featured image of Art Class Cathedral Senior High School New Ulm, Minnesota via US National Archives by photographer Abul Haque

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17 thoughts on “Art Is Essential

  1. bikerchick57

    Ms. Twilley is a gifted artist, borne from the hardships of her youth. I can’t imagine growing in that room or that house, but I imagine that it’s made her stronger in many ways. You are right, art should always be present in the schools. I have fond memories of one art class and a wonderful teacher who loved to play Beatles music while we did our thing. Every child should have a memory such as this and the ability to discover their own talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kat

    Art has always figured prominently in my children’s lives in a variety of forms. It plays such a part in who they are and I can’t imagine them not having the outlet it brings. Over the years their chosen art form has changed but it’s always present. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BWitzenhausen

    Art and writing have always been important in my life, a means of expression and self-discovery, I can’t imagine my life without them. It saddens me when I hear that art is being removed from school curriculums. Art is such an important tool for children to find themselves, to grow and be challenged. I hope enough people speak up, not giving a child an artistic experience is in my opinion taking away a valuable tool for expression. Thanks for sharing this story and for being part of #WATWB.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. hilarymb

    Hi Deborah – Brandi’s story rings so true doesn’t it … we never know what talents will appear until something is triggered and we find solace in them … art and knowledge always helpful to send our thought processes out to think of other things … art, music, creativity of all sorts – essential to life … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It is true that we sometimes discover our talent which is a gift. Brandi had wanted to be an artist before the fire. I do think she was able to express herself in this special way. Thank you, Hilary 🙂




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