29. Apr, 2022

Why Art is Not a Secondary Subject at School

Quite a while ago now, there was a programme on TV where the parents of these primary aged children, had to go back to primary school to see how they would fair.  You may remember it.  At one point they had to do an art lesson and this started quite a debate in the parent group.  One very defiant parent was adamant that this lesson was not at all beneficial to their child and was pointless in schools and a waste of time.  This was met with some mediocre disdaine, but those opposed to this viewpoint didn't have a strong argument ready to counter this.  Why? Perhaps because we live in a society where we are told regularly that, if you choose art as a career you will be starving, if you go into the creative sector you will be seen as a drop out.  That was certainly the viewpoint when I went to art college in the mid to late nineties.  My parents were quite radical, in fact, in actively promoting me going to art college.  


As we move into the 21st Century, it is becoming more obvious as to why art is so important, but we are far from accepting it as a subject which should be up there with the maths and science of the list.  So why do I think it should be up there in the same list as these subjects? 


Doing art develops a creative mind.  Creative thinking has been linked to the successes of business people all over the world.  Steve Jobs famously felt that creative thinking was instrumental in his business success.  If you think about it, creative thinking is responsible for some of the biggest changes and developments this world has ever seen.  Groundbreaking surgery that's never been done before is as a result of creative thinking, how we defended our country and freedom from Hitlers regime was as a result of creative thinking and more recently, the development of the vaccine against Covid 19 was as a result of creative thinking.  

Some of the benefits of having a creative mind are: 

  • the ability to problem solve
  • the ability to cope with change
  • it increases productivity and organisational skills
  • it promotes curiosity
  • it allows better communication
  • openmindedness
  • self directed learning and development. 

You put all these together, under the umbrella of 'creative thinking' and you have described an artist.  

In addition to the above, we have an ever increasing trend of robots taking over the jobs of people in certain sectors of careers.  This is a concern in our fast developing world, but it has been express by those in the know that one of the only sectors this won't affect is the arts.  Us artists, whether we be visual artists or performance artists, writers or designers, robots will never be able to question things, robots will never be able to take a unique standpoint like artists can; like creative thinkers can.  

Lets nurture our future business leaders and leaders of our countries, but allowing them the abiity to develop their creative mind in a healthy way.  Get them to an art class!