Why is art a valuable subject for students, teens, and even adults? Art helps to:
- Teach learners to be more tolerant and open.
- Allow learners to express themselves creatively.
- Promote individuality, bolster self-confidence, and improve overall academic performance.
- Help all students develop more appreciation and understanding of the people and world around them.
- Help students develop a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, goal-setting, communication skills, and teamwork —skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
- Strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
- Help students develop a positive work ethic and pride in a job well done.
The Illinois State Standards for Art education further outline why art class is beneficial to all students:
"The goals and standards in the fine arts prepare students to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In art classes, they learn to solve problems, work in teams and use the technology, processes, and skills sought by the business community. Through their studies, students have a greater understanding of their own cultural heritage, as well as a sense of how the arts reflect and shape the larger world community." (ISBE, 2002)State Goal 25 – Know the language of the arts.
"In middle school, students can analyze how the components are organized in an art work, and can compare and contrast the elements of two or more art works." (ISBE, 2002)State Goal 26 – Through creating and performing, understand how works of art are produced.
"Middle school students can explain how the choice of tools, materials, and technologies are used to create specific effects. They can use these tools to imaginatively solve problems in dance, drama, music, or visual art." (ISBE, 2002)
State Goal 27 – Understand the role of the arts in civilizations past and present.
"In middle school, students can describe how artists contribute to the world of work, and they know the many ways the arts contribute to everyday life. They know that the arts are an historical record and can describe how selected artists and art works influence or reflect their times." (ISBE, 2002)
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep."