Value of Art in Society

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Art is a very powerful means of expressing one's self, and it can be viewed either very positively or very negatively. Art has a way of bringing people together by portraying an idea that everyone can relate to. It has the ability to have a big impact on society, but it's just a matter of getting people appreciate the value of it. (Lawrence 1). Suzanne Lacy created a chart of artist's roles to show you the different steps an artist can take from being private or public. There is the artist as an experiencer, the artist as a reporter, and artist as an analyst, and the artist as an activist. As Suzzanne Lacy puts it, "Artists as reporters represent their world. Artists as experiencers give tangible form to their feelings about the world. Artists as analysts look beyond the immediate to reveal hidden universal truths. And artists as activists help us see the world in new ways." (Sayre 66). The activists even expect their work to impact the world. They believe they can affect the world and change it for the better. (Sayre 66).

In 1967, when the NEA, National Endowment for the Arts, was created, artists could finally express their art in a way for people to "value art for art's sake." What this meant was people could finally look at art and value it for its beauty as an aesthetic object. Not all art has to be practical or functional. Some art is just meant to be seen, and meant to be pleasing to look at. As soon as people could embrace the idea of valuing art for art's sake and appreciating it, then art could start to enhance their social life. The NEA figured that if people enjoyed looking at public art, then having public art in itself enrich people's lives. It would give them something beautiful to look at, and at least make their town more interesting. (Sayre 71-72).

Public arts are not always perceived to be positive. There are many artistic pieces that have been shunned and looked down upon by the...
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