Sheila Elias



Woman in her studio at her worktable with colorful paintings in front of her and on the wall behind her

Sheila Elias in her studio with her iPad paintings. Photo by Reto Guntli Photography

I am a respected contemporary artist that lives in Miami, Florida and am on the host-committee of Art Basel (pro bono). The arts are beneficial to cities both economically and socially, this is a proven fact. Miami Beach is a perfect example of bringing great economic influence through Art Basel for enhancement of tourism and real estate. The state of New York is totally committed to the arts because they are aware of how important it is. California has built a number of new museums, as have other cities across the country. If these budget cuts continue I am worried about the effects it will have on our human intellectual achievement. Venues such as the theaters, museums, and schools will be greatly affected. Art plays a large role in children’s development by stimulating their creativity that can later be utilized in different aspects of learning such as science and literature. When insurgents invade foreign countries, they immediately destroy the art as to obliterate culture. Art is a major part of our history by documenting our existence.

Art can change lives. I can use myself as an example: when my mother took me to the Museum of Art Institute of Chicago at the age of eight years old, it opened a new world and drew the path for me to become the person I am today. Had the museum not been there, I would have never seen Matisse and imagined goals I have achieved.