As school budgets for art education are cut to offset the cost of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, we must look at the question of why we teach art at all.
John Adams said “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”
Why did Adams say this? Why set a goal of “The right to study painting and poetry…”
Perhaps because a welder who sees the beauty in a seemingly seamless seam brings both art and beauty to the work. A craftsman who crafts in either simplicity or complexity, as well as quality, brings beauty to the creations.
Only a nation no longer in need of war and politics can fulfill its obligation to provide opportunity for life, liberty, and happiness to all people.
Artistry is theatre, music, film, sculpture, paint, and poetry. Artistry is also works beautifully crafted. Art is found in architecture, robotics, bridge building, home building. Art is found both in craft and creativity. Art is vocation and avocation interwoven to a tapestry of form, function, and style.
Why should the public support the arts in education, and in practice? Because when we do, the world we build together is more beautiful. Who doesn’t want to live in a more beautiful world?
(author’s note: Adams said both “my sons” and “their children” perhaps seeing that one day, women should have every opportunity which property holding white men exclusively claimed in his time)
originally published at: http://kevinoakes.com/2017/01/11/why-art/