One only has to look at the history of the world to see that all culture is remembered by its art. From cave paintings and petroglyphs to the pyramids to pop art, all civilizations are remembered by what they created. Art is the lasting impression, not only of the individual artists, but of the society that nurtures them.
Although art belongs to the world, each piece is indelibly linked to the society that birthed it, a reflection of its values, its beliefs, its greatness. The frescoes of Pompeii, the sonatas of Mozart, the Eiffel Tower, dramas by Shakespeare, Aristophanes and Ibsen, Kabuki, Vaudeville, Machu Picchu, John Phillip Sousa, Pablo Picasso and Pablo Naruda, the Sphinx, the Acropolis, the Colosseum in Rome, the Forbidden City, the Taj Majal, Easter Island, the Venus de Milo, tribal masks and totem carvings...the list is endless. But this we know, that every civilization is measured and revered by its artistic creations.
Art and craftsmanship touch everything we do. From the furniture you sit on while you read this, to the design of the car you drive, to the brochure your bank sends you, to your iPod and every song it contains.
So how can we put paintings behind glass, demand music 24 hours a day, pay top dollar for a Broadway show, wear the latest fashions, and at the same time deny the fundamentals of art education to our youth?
I know my timing is way off writing this. But when the next subcommittee pops up trying to cut arts education funding, I'll be ready.
©2011 Tim Hodge