Visual Arts: Their Ability to Become a Universal Language Visual Arts: the channel of education, through which all men grow and advance in the world, no matter their provenance. Why hesitate to admit the true nature of what art really means? For many it means a life. It is important for everyone to recognize and realize that visual arts have, indeed, become an important part of everyone’s everyday lives, and are widely recognized to the extent that they have the ability to be understood as a universal language. You may think, at first, that from country to country and culture to culture, there is no possibility that everyone could understand each other. However, could visual art be the key to unlock common understanding? Take a moment to consider the amount of subconscious analyzing and deciphering of art you do every day. Without realizing it, you comprehend what that little symbol on the back of a bleach container means; what the red hexagon on the street corner demands; what the yellow line down the center of the road means. Art is a universal language. It is the things that seem insignificant, that seem to mean virtually nothing to us throughout life, that hold the most meaning and have the ability to bring diverse countries and cultures together. As Annenberg Foundation stated: “The human impulse to create art is universal… As cultural documents, works of art provide important insights into past and existing cultures, helping us to understand how others have lived and what they valued.” This essentially sums up the significance of art throughout the globe in the past, continuing into today’s society, and its ability to become an accepted universal language. You may be thinking to yourself, what are visual arts anyway? And why is it so important to recognize their significance? Visual arts are, as defined by Random House Inc. Dictionary, “the arts created primarily for visual perception, as drawing, graphics, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts.” You see from this definition that the arts are for visual perception, hence their name: visual arts, but also highlighting the importance of the fact that no reading/listening comprehension is necessarily required. This defies theories that differences in language, culture and social status can create barriers between one human race and another. Take a moment to think about the world around you. Then you will see that there is little that does not involve “drawing, graphics, painting, sculpture…and decoration.” The reason it is so important to recognize the significance of visual arts is because of its pervasive use. There is not a place, not a culture, not a region, not a city or nation that could have been built, developed and survived without the utilization and aid of visual arts. Visual arts are an extremely vital part of world history and have played a huge part in the development of our diverse cultures. As Annenberg Foundation put it, “Art has been has been a way to communicate beliefs and express ideas about the human experience throughout all stages of civilization and in every region of the world.” This indicates that without the availability and access to visuals as a means of communication, our world would not have developed and progressed the way it has. Art has the ability to serve as historical records, along with written text, and assists in providing historians with graphic details of life in those times, being reinstated by Annenberg Foundation: “Art has been a medium through which people have not only documented, but also shaped history—both past and future.” For example, as John Hanhardt from the Smithsoni, an American Museum, stated, “From that bison on a cave to the great history of Renaissance painting, photography, the cinema—art is about shaping memories of history and the past.” It not only gives us a distinct impression of what art meant to ancient civilizations, but it leads us deep into the very heart of their societies: “The arts reflect...
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