Do You Think Art Holds Value?

Do You Think Art Holds Value?


The Salt Lake City/Murray campus hosted its High School Art Show on May 9, 2013. With over 90 pieces to view the three judges had plenty to go through. I was able to talk to Kate Birch, an art show judge and local artist whose “floral tapestries” have been featured in films and TV shows like Glee and 21 Jump Street. She mentioned, “When you lose art in a culture, things start to deteriorate.” After seeing the effort from two of the young artists who participated in the High School Art Show, it is easy to pick out how art is still benefiting future generations: it teaches.

Carlissa Shaw, High School Art Show Participant:
As a junior from Alta High School, she submitted her mixed-media portrait titled, “Rice.” This title came easy when it became one of the most viewable words on the dictionary paper used for one of the collage layers.
Perhaps the most striking part about this piece was it didn’t have an assignment or project attached to it. Carlissa explains, “It was just a study to see what I can do.” She did it because she could. She continues to explain that she enjoys and nurtures this talent despite having other career plans.

Sam Tresco, High School Art Show Participant:
Also from Alta High School, this senior won the Best Painting award. The art project started because his teacher challenged him to do a large-scale piece. Having drawn dragons since he was little, it was easy to pick a subject. Using 80 hours and a 3-foot by 4-foot masonite board, he certainly accomplished the largest piece at this show. Not only did the piece come together because of a challenge, but the teacher also suggested he use only three colors. Almost everything above the horizon is painted using black, white, and red. “It was a very fulfilling exercise. I was surprised about the varying colors you can get from a very limited color palette.” However, in order to make it the best painting he could, he used a full color palette from the water down.

Art not only provides a creative outlet, but it helps nurture other talents. These pieces took dedication, time, patience, and skill. Just from the descriptions of the experience you can see how they had to develop a project plan, learn new techniques, and use judgment calls. These are skills any employer expects in an employee. Sometimes art is the best way to teach these traits in the first place. Art still matters because it can sometimes teach better than a classroom.

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