The Clarion

Art: Do We Really Need it in Our Lives?

By ARUN DHALIWAL

Primarily when people think of art, they think of gigantic galas in Western Europe with thousands of attendees admiring a piece of work from centuries ago. In reality, that is often not the ideal situation. Open up the Spotify app on your phone and you can see how close the encounter with art can be. Read a book that your English teacher assigned and experience the words come alive and illustrate a picture in your head. As far as entertainment goes, turn on your laptop and watch an episode of The Crown. Art does not necessarily have to be that which is tangible. Art can be found everywhere. All types of art share a universal truth: They express ideas, communicate feelings, and evoke emotions from their viewers, listeners, and readers.

In a world full of conformity, the window of individuality can be very tiny. As the inquisitive beings we are, we wonder if there ever is a time where we fully get to express our true beliefs and not those of our parents, peers, or even our teachers. Art allows us to do exactly that! It allows us to express our original ideas and allows our creativity to flow. Our creativity is not oppressed by conformity and our imagination runs wild through art.

Our world is fast-paced and full of complex emotions. Very rarely do we sit down with our loved ones, or peers and discuss our emotions. We ignore these feelings and years of practicing this non-verbal ritual molds us into terrible communicators. Many students, such as myself, express our emotions through music. When we’re feeling gloomy or angry, we resort to our calming music to help us cope with our emotions. The reason I think many of us turn to our music is because we need help communicating how we feel. Music alone lets us determine our emotions before we can begin to put words to them. Sometimes, other forms of communication can fail to allow us to express ourselves. That is when we turn to art.

It is a universal language with no barriers. However, having no barriers for art can grapple your mind. There are so many different ways you can approach a piece of art. Let’s take a play for example. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a classic love story between two star crossed lovers. Many people find this play to be romantic and tragic, which in fact it is. Nonetheless, I have always considered the acts of Romeo and Juliet to be foolish. The best thing about art in literature is you that can never be wrong in your personal viewpoints. Shakespeare never said that every reader who reads Romeo and Juliet has to view it as a romantic yet tragic play. He wanted to show his readers the dreadful aspects of love, but it is still up to the reader as to what she or he makes of it.

As a student, I know how hard it can be for me to sit down and formulate the right words to put together my thoughts and ideas. Art, such as essay writing, helps me find the right terms I need in order to wrap up my thoughts.

If you had asked me if art was essential to our lives when I was a freshman, I would have answered “no.” The only reason I would respond with that answer is because I lacked the understanding that art can be interpreted in many ways. As a freshman, I was always looking for a “yes” or “no” answer, but now I know that many times a problem does not have a concrete “yes” or “no” answer. The solution lies within and art helps us find that solution. Without art, our world would be function in a robotic manner.

So the question remains, do we really need art in our lives?

Well, dear reader, I cannot imagine a world without it.