Final Project Proposal – Essay
Art for Art’s Sake
Art is said to be an expression of the human heart. Art tells us stories about ourselves, a particular time in history, and it leaves an indelible record behind of humankind since we walked out of Africa to other continents over 100,000 years ago. During this course, we have been asked to consider what role the arts play in a city like Vancouver. With the help of many gifted experts like Peter Dickinson, Max Wyman, Susan Mertens, Charllotte Kwon, Tim McLaughlin, Michael Yahgulanaas and other talented artists, critics, scholars and performers, we have opened Pandora’s box and confronted the depth and richness of art and how it reflects life, no matter what city we are in. Art is a portrait of history, whether the current moment or an event in the past, or something buried in the imagination. Painting, dance, sculpture, music, literature, weaving, mosaics and other arts are thought to be the soul of society’s collective memory and very much alive over the centuries in Vancouver and cities around the world. Art in this sense is communication as it allows people from different tribes, cultures and different times to communicate with each other with ceremony and ritual, imagery, sounds and story telling of all kinds. Art is often credited for being a vehicle for social change. Art can give voice to the politically or socially disenfranchised. It can be a call to activism of all sorts. Art reflects life – past present and future. Art can capture an event, clarifying a moment in time and giving witness to it. Does art make the world a better place? Has art had an impact upon society and if so what have we learned? Has it fashioned or molded us and taught us to look at each other, the world, and perhaps our city a little bit differently? Has it shaped our opinions and altered how we feel and think? These are some of the questions that I hope to answer in this paper as we explore art for art’s sake with the help of a few historians, social geographers and various authors over the centuries.
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