Sunday, January 31, 2010

What does art mean to you?

It is my belief that we all view art in a different way, but it can be equally beneficial to everyone just the same. Some of us may listen to music to get us through a rough week at school or work, some of us sing in the shower to pump ourselves up for the day ahead and some of us may play piano or guitar or another instrument to relieve stress.

In an effort to better understand how my peers experience art, I sent out a message on Facebook to Ohio University students asking a simple question: What does art mean to you? Here are some of the responses:

“Art is a form of self-expression that communicates how you see the world.” – Sandi Combs, public relations major

“For me, art is very malleable—it can either be very personal, or very public. It can be used to express emotion, or to make a political statement. It is almost always powerful.” – Rue Khalsa, Carr Van Anda major

“Art is a blurring of the line that segregates the mundane and the divine. In whatever form it is expressed, art is the manifestation of inspiration, summoned from the infinite void of potential. When given form, it then serves as a conduit for others to experience that mystic spark, ultimately reconnecting the observer to the observed to the source. By this definition, art, for me, can be anything from a masterpiece on a wall, to the dancing of trees in the wind, to the elegant lines of a lover's moonlit body.” – Scott Eardley, chemical engineering major

“Art is a creative way of expressing yourself, or getting behind others’ feelings.” – Devin Hughes, public relations major

"Art is the expression of emotion and personality to tell a story." – Jenna Siska, magazine journalism major

"Art is an expression of creativity that shows who you are inside. I don't think that what is art to one person is necessarily art to someone else." – Annie White, public relations major

For me, art is an escape. Whether it is a performance, a form of visual art or simply listening to your iPod while you study, it is my opinion that art can make us feel virtually any emotion, and is one of the most powerful things in our lives because of that.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The best things in life are free

In today’s world, it seems we are nickel-and-dimed at every turn. Things are even worse for college students as the tuition rate continues to climb. Luckily for those of us who attend Ohio University, we get cut a little slack.

The Arts for Ohio Initiative, a project created to integrate the arts into the Ohio University community, eliminates the cost of admission for students for performances and exhibitions presented by the university. The initiative is funded by Vision Ohio in hopes of increasing the presence of arts on campus and inspiring new ways of conversing and thinking.

Not only does the Arts for Ohio Initiative help provide larger audiences at events, which inevitably helps the artists, but it also provides opportunities that students might not get otherwise. College students are traditionally low on funds, so free admission removes a huge barrier to experiencing art.

According to a study by the Arts Education Partnership, students who are exposed to theater, dance and music have more success in school than those who concentrate on academics alone. This is yet another huge benefit of the Arts for Ohio Initiative, and great news to people like me who already view art on a regular basis.

The fact that this initiative is still in place with all the recent budget cuts is a testament to the importance of the arts and arts education. Perhaps the best part of the initiative is the sheer amount of art going on all the time. If you look at the calendar on the Arts for Ohio Web site, there are literally events going on every day, and something for everyone to enjoy.

Here are some events you won’t want to miss this quarter:

•“Marisol” by Jose Rivera, OHIO’s School of Theater main-stage production for this quarter
•Winter Dance Concert, performed by the OHIO School of Dance
•Women of Appalachia art exhibit, currently housed in the Multicultural Center Art Gallery in Baker Center
•Singing Men of Ohio and Singing Men of Ohio Alumni & Friends concert

All of this quarter’s events are listed on the Arts for Ohio Calendar of Events.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's Showtime!

John F. Kennedy once said, “We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”

From a young age, art has been my truth, my escape and my true passion. My life would not be complete without it. Whether on stage myself or in the audience, I have never been happier than when I am experiencing art.

Art is the one thing in my life that remains constant. It is always there, ever-present to challenge me to think in new ways.

I am creating this blog not only because I want to share my love of art with others, but because I want to explore the uniqueness of experiencing the arts on a college campus. Whether it is through the ways we view art, the specific types of art, or participating in art ourselves, I believe we, as college students, will never experience the arts in the same way ever again, and my blog will be a way to preserve that experience.

In this blog, I hope to push myself to look critically at art and to find it in places I have not discovered before.

It is my opinion that art is not reaching its full potential if it cannot be discussed, critiqued and shared. I hope that you will join me in this discussion because I believe we can all help each other view art in new and exciting ways. After all, “all the world’s a stage,” and the spotlight is waiting for each of us.