I had an uncle who was a collector of art and antiques. He was even going to create a Columbian museum. He had valuable pieces related to the “discoverer” of America.
He could not realize his dream of the museum as he called it, even though he acquired the place where he was going to install it; but he did help me to be an artist … That’s another story …
I remember that, in one of so many Christmas dinners, he said a lapidary phrase that surprised me. In our family talking about art was a frequent topic, and more than that I was already studying at the National School of Fine Arts. He asked a question that in turn answered. He said, “Do you know what art is for? Well, to feed the artists”.
It seemed to me that there was an ironic or sarcastic tinge to that comment, but I preferred to shut up and think. Does art only serve so that artists can earn a living? I do not think so.
Among many things, art first serves to communicate. It transmits our thoughts, emotions, and feelings. I’m not saying that a work of art is going to change the world, but depending on the message it contains, it can do good or bad. Most of us artists are idealists, and we believe that we are doing something good.
The second is that the arts in general help to improve our environment. I refer to the experiential environment, the state of the people. Art can help heal, soothe the mind and body. The art heals. This is proven. There are hospitals that have seen greater progress in the health of patients when there are spaces with art within them. Patients rejoice, are motivated, consoled, and enthusiastic when surrounded by quality art and positive messages.
Another benefit of art is that it stimulates creativity and imagination. Every human being has creative potential, and the visual arts are magnificent allies or promoters of new ideas.
Fourth, art conveys an identity. In this time of so much uncertainty and political, social, and religious confusion, art helps to unite people under the same banner. Culture defines us and connects us.
And so, I could be mentioning other advantages of art. I admit that yes, my uncle was partly right, art feeds artists, just like any other profession or trade feeds those who practice it. This is perfectly normal and natural. In this way, the artist can develop and dedicate most of his time to his creative activity or work, which, as we have seen, leaves other fruits in parallel.
Finally, artistic action moves a whole gear, a chain of production of goods and services that allows the creation of other jobs that are connected. An artist must buy materials to paint, draw, design, or sculpt. He needs various products, such as paints, brushes, pencils, canvases, wood, tools, frames, transportation, printing services, photographic, recording, marketing equipment, training books, and many other things; but I do not want to extend this brief analysis “by the way” as my uncle Tavito Amiama wrote.
Art is worth making!