Art Day-Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), The Last Supper (1495-1498), tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic. Via Wikimedia Commons
Art celebrations have kicked off across the globe as part of the World Art Day draws near. Museums, galleries, and art institutions are celebrating the day by making art accessible to many people. The celebrations include free gallery shows, museum tours, and art talks.
The World Art Day was instituted in 2011 when the International Association of Art (AIAP/IAA) General Assembly agreed that April 15, Leonardo da Vinci ‘s birthday, should be set aside to celebrate World Art Day. For the body, the argument is that like other important celebrations such as Mothers Day, Valentine’s Day, and Fathers Day, art should have its own day.
The main objective of World Art Day is to generate art awareness throughout the globe. According to (AIAP / IAA) world celebrations should start on April 15, 2012. “On that day we suggest that all museums and galleries stay open long nights, we expect conferences and panel discussions to be held on that day (and eventually throughout the week, following April 15). In the evening, celebrations and wild parties should follow all the exhibitions opening simultaneously on “D Day”! “
Many museums, art galleries and art institutions across the globe have continued to follow the guide lines put in place by AIAP/IAA world towards the World Art Day celebrations. It is expected that this year’s celebrations will not only feature art shows, but also wild parties.
As the celebrations begin, Artcentron went out to ask people about their views of art and the World Art Day celebrations. Below are some of their thoughts about contemporary art, modern art, photography and books. While some agree that art celebrations are in order, others think effort should be made to generate more awareness for the World Art Day celebrations.
1. All areas of art have the capacity to affect us humans. Paintings, performing arts, literature, sculpture, theater, architecture and movies all can influence how we think and behave if they are intellectually challenging. Unfortunately, many of the art around us today are substandard: they are just art for art sake and nothing more. When you go to museums and galleries, all you see are mediocre and flimsy works of art. When did a pair of sequenced shoes in the gallery space become art? It is strange how artists now hide behind modern art or some theory to create unintelligent works they call art. Art celebrations are important and I think architecture should be celebrated too.
I love architecture. Everywhere I go, I look at buildings and I wonder what was in the mind of the architects while designing them. Thinking about the design process helps me understand the design process even better. I also love reading engaging books, listening to music, and watching intelligent movies. They help me relax and be more thoughtful. I will join this year’s celebrations by going to museum and galleries. If there is a wild party that included with the celebrations, that will even be better.
2. Every time I think about art, I am first reminded of how powerful art can be. During Hitler’s period, art was used as a propaganda tool to enslave others. Sadly, that has not changed. When you watch movies, television and listen to the radio, there is always so much effort to indoctrinate people.
In the hand of a devious person, art can lead to calamitous consequences. The ability to evoke emotions makes art very dangerous. In the events leading to Iraqi war, powerful images of mushroom clouds and aerial photography of imagined nuclear sites were used to stir up emotions for an unnecessary war.
Reading books, watching movies, and television have shown me how powerful art can be. Several years ago, I was brought to tears after watching Amistad directed by Steven Spielberg. I could not imagine how much pain and suffering the slaves went through in the hands of their so called masters. That is the power or art.
The power of art is one of the reasons the World Art Day celebrations are important. Watching historical movies, reading books and going to exhibitions have shaped my thinking, and I continue to be more observant of how art is used to generate positive and negative emotions.
3. How art has touched my life? I am a hard working person and I get stressed out most of the time. Whenever I am feeling stressed, I either watch television or read a good book. Reading and going to the movies often help me calm down. Photography has also been helpful. I feel better after looking at photography books or going to an exhibition. Strolling through a gallery and looking at paintings hanging on the walls also make me feel better. But I think a lot still has to be done to promote the World Art Day celebrations. Unlike Mothers Day celebrations and other important celebrations that are very popular, World Art Day celebrations are not well-known, It is like the celebrations are reserved for only those in the arts. Everything must be done to promote the World Art Day celebrations so everyone can be part of it.
4. I never liked art. Like many people, art for me was just something to admire and that is it. However, all that changed several years ago after I saw an exhibition of photography in New York. It was an exhibition of photographs by a South African photographer who documented the lives of black South Africans during apartheid and post -Apartheid era. I thinks his name is Zwelethu Mthethwa.
I was first attracted by the beauty of the very large photographs before realizing what I was looking at. The poverty and derelict living condition of the people made me wonder why anyone should be subjected to such inhuman conditions just because of the color of their skin. I was overtaken by the sublimity and power of the images before me. I soon realized that I had succumbed to the power of art.
Since experiencing the photographs by the South African photographer, I have been investigating the power of photography and its ability to document history. I have studied photographs taken during war times and even those capturing disasters around the globe. Some of them are very gruesome but informative. Of course, there are beautiful photos like those in National Geographic.
My engagement with photography has opened new horizons for me. I now know that photography and art in general can touch anyone. I what I will like to see during the World Art Day celebrations are provocative exhibitions in galleries and museums. The works, especially photographs, should make us think and reflect on important issues.
5. When I saw your question “How has art touched your life?” I was really excited. Many people appreciate art just because of the beauty. But art is more than beauty! Art has the ability to change people’s lives. Every time people talk about Steve Jobs they forget to mention that he was an artist. He studied calligraphy for a while and that art background influenced many of his creations in later years. From apple computers, to iphone and ipad, Jobs ensured that design was optimal in all his products. And that is how I have been touched by art. By using iphone, ipad and even driving my car, I know I am having an interaction with art. Art is a part of everyday life and it is impossible not to be touched by art.
Beyond art, I think important technologies that have artistic inclination should be part of the World Art Day celebrations. Can you Imagine a show in a museum or art gallery presenting Steve Jobs’s creation as works of art? That will be exciting.
6. Art is everywhere. It is difficult to escape art in our modern society. From the cars we drive to the food we eat and what we wear, art is everywhere. I love art and I go to art gallery shows and museum exhibition to see art. Many of what I see continue to influence my life. The billboards around me have become captivating to me now. The large photos of food, cars and many other products have become some form of street art. They evoke emotions and force people to buy things or do things they may be reluctant to do.
7. For me art has touched my life in many ways. Just listening to music playing the piano, watching a movie or just reading a nice book makes me feel on top of the world. I think all these areas should be part of the World Art Day celebrations.
8 .I see art in everything. Wherever I go, I see art. I see colors, hear music and see fashion. By observing everything around me, I have been able to learn about many things, which continue to inform my work as a painter. My paintings are influenced by the things I see around me. Fine art, music, film, photography, poetry, and other forms of writing have also helped me develop a better sense of human behavior and how I relate with others.
9. Art has touched my life because it helps me help others to express themselves. As an art therapist, art has become a means to help people with disabilities or related issues to effectively express and communicate their thoughts and ideas. I am always happy to see people who cannot ordinarily verbally express themselves use art to communicate their thoughts.
Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate World Art Day with you and also join in this art discussion. Art is a great phenomenon and everyone has been touched one way or the other. Art is everywhere and part of our lives. When we read books, watch movies or performances, we are participating in art. All the things we experience through these activities affect us one way or the other. As a therapists, I look forward to the day when art therapy will be the focus of the World Art Celebrations.
10. Nature is art. There are so many things in nature that I consider art. The beautiful flowers, the colorful skies and people we meet have taught me how to appreciate God’s mighty canvas and the beauty of his creations. What I think should be part of this year’s World Art Celebrations is a tour of sculpture gardens. Sculpture gardens not only have art, they also bring us closer to nature.
As we celebrate this world Art Day, let us remember that today is also Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday. Da Vinci epitomizes the role of artists in the society and how art can impact people’s lives. Da Vinci was not just an artists, he was also an engineer, scientist, architect and many other things. Da Vinci’s approach to art and many of his creations show how art is part of everything we do.
World Art Day celebrations should be made popular so many people can understand the importance of art. Art has made great impact in my life. When I read a book, participate in a performance, eat different kinds of food, I am been impacted by art. Whether consciously or unconsciously, my thinking and the way I do things are been influenced by my relationship with art.
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