The new Art and Soul Gallery at Spiceland Mall has been a conversation piece for considering the role of art and it’s presentation, especially in Grenadian society. Many people question whether art represents an integral cultural component or whether it is an expendable luxury that is more form than function. Art has always progressed along with civilization and besides contributing candid commentary on the spirit of the age, art has provided valuable benefits across industries. The skills valued by artists such as problem solving, presentation, craftsmanship, discipline, resourcefulness, and the appreciation of aesthetics permeate into many arenas. Art education goes beyond drawing and painting and includes nurturing these highly valued skills and attributes.
Without an appreciation for the aesthetic and a spirit of conservation, we would not have a frame of reference to preserve and beautify landmarks, heritage sites, and natural or protected areas. While many naturally beautiful areas seem to need no assistance in simply being beautiful, arts education can assist in preserving the space as well as presenting it as attractive through marketing. With tourism as a major revenue generator, it would benefit society to explore the role that art education plays in attracting visitors.
Beyond attractions, retail of many products and on many scales can benefit from understanding the way people process visual information. This is a primary concern for artists in considering color, composition, and content in their work. Artists are constantly thinking about how the information they want to convey is being perceived. In a retail setting, this sort of forethought can make the difference between a sale or not.
The creative process can greatly increase the efficacy of management as well. Especially when there is economic turbulence like the last few years, executives need to be able to think creatively outside the box in order to forge new, underutilized paths. Exposure to the arts does not automatically make someone a more savvy business person, but the practice of problem solving and presentation of concepts can give someone a definite competitive advantage.
Even in education itself, the arts can contribute significantly. Besides the actual teaching of art which activates certain parts of the brain, enriches the student and ultimately contributes to society, art can be used to process abstract concepts into visual learning aids. Realizing that students learn in different ways – it is beneficial to have several tools available in teaching. These tools include the ability to correctly assess and problem solve any difficulty in learning as well as presenting an idea visually in a clear and concise way.
These are just a few ways that the proliferation of art education in society can be beneficial. Art education can ultimately lead to increased revenues, increased performance, and a more holistically trained body of citizens. Until we have a more complete approach to art education in the public schools in Grenada, take it upon yourself to read and expose yourself to art and practice making your own. Also, utilize the resources at Art and Soul at Spiceland Mall to further educate and inspire yourself!
– Asher Mains