MY ART STORY by

Erlina Ortiz

Philadelphia
Pennsylvania

1. Art is a Natural Human Behavior: Creating art is a primal behavior. Children, the world over, instinctively make. Every culture has art. Like language and laughter, art is a fundamental human behavior. Put very simply, art is a part of who we are. We need art because it makes us complete human beings.

2. Art is Communication: Art, like language, is a medium to express ideas and to share information. Art offers us a method to communicate what we may not necessarily fully understand or know how to express. Art helps us to share thoughts, ideas and visions that may not be able to be articulated any other way. We need art to have a full range of expression.

3. Art is Healing: Creating or experiencing art can relax and sooth us or it may enliven and stimulate us. The process of creating art engages both the body and the mind and provides us with time to look inward and reflect. Experiencing art also gives us reason to think and be reflective or may inspire us to get up and dance. Art provides a release, a place for reflection and away to engage our whole selves. .We need art to keep us healthy.

4. Art Tells Our Story: Art is a history lesson, an historical record, a preservation of culture, and an autobiography all in one. Art documents events and experiences and allows us a richer understanding of history. Art reflects cultural values, beliefs and identity and helps to preserve the many different communities that make up our world. Art chronicles our own lives and experiences over time. We need art to understand and to share our individual and shared history.

5. Art is a Shared Experience: The creation of art is a collective activity. Art forms such as dance, theatre and choir all require a group of artists and an audience. Even the solitary painter or poet relies upon the craft of the paint-maker or book-binder to help create art. Art offers us a reason to come together and share in an experience. We need art to keep us connected.