Preserving culture through art
Art reflects, transmits, shapes, and preserves culture. Art can shed light on cultural influences from other places, historical events, cultural values, and the persistence and resistance to certain traditions. People use art to express their individuality, but also to connect with others in the culture and express a shared identity. Culture explores the meaning of life; representing a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices. The beautiful thing about art is that it physically captures a moment in time of the forever fluid, ever-evolving, and the intangible phenomenon known as culture.
When human beings are connected to nature and see themselves as natural beings, their art is a reflection of that. Early humans, particularly in Paleolithic France and Spain, depicted animals, incomplete human figures, negatives of hand impressions, and abstract signs in their cave paintings. There have been no concrete reasons or meanings but scholarly findings assume and interpret these as meanings to their surroundings and a way of communication. However, as cultures evolved, many tribes also expressed themselves artistically through stonework, basketry, jewelry, beadwork, ivory and wood carvings, weaving, stitching, dolls, ceramics, pottery, and instrument making. Art also helps to capture a moment in time, historical events, social ideas and concepts, and political or social commentary. Looking at artworks and artifacts of different cultures can give us insight into what aesthetics and traditions a culture values, and in turn, inspire us to reflect on our cultural artifacts and values. It promotes communication between cultures. Art is a universal language that breaks cultural barriers and gives people respect for the beliefs and traditions of others. Taking art classes makes children aware of different cultures and they learn the value to appreciate, understand, and protect them. It influences society by changing opinions, instilling values, and translating experiences across space and time. Drawing, painting, craft, and design is a kind of thinking/making that enables people to form and develop their identity. It is a self-affirming activity that helps us to interpret, think about, add to or challenge our cultural life.
Art brings people together physically — at galleries, museums, and performance spaces — and culturally, through its capacity to tell a community's shared story, inspire reflection, and form connections that transcend differences. Research has shown art affects the fundamental sense of self. Painting, sculpture, sketching, and other art forms are often considered to be the repository of a society's collective memory. Cultures change and collapse, but art is the life force — the soul — of culture. And it speaks to our souls in deep, symbolic, and personal ways. As a bridge to the past, across time and space, art ensures that we never forget our past. Hence learning art implies gaining knowledge about cultures and preserving it for a better future.
If you want your child to acquire in-depth knowledge of different cultures across nations, enroll in our live online art classes and learn from our experienced facilitators!