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Visual Expressions in Society

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Visual Art plays a vital role in shaping our culture and everyday experience

What makes a painting work? What inspires a sculptor to create? What makes a poster attractive? What draws the reader’s attention to a magazine on a newsstand? How to create harmony in our living spaces? The content of Visual arts are affected by many factors, including the language used and media of visual communication, historical and social forces, and the evolution of new modes of expression.

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When reading the article about confronting violence through the arts the author of the article discussed how educators are integrating the arts in order to explain to their student’s difficult world events that are occurring in society. The author emphasizes that “when art, music, and poetry are integrated into the art room, children can confront difficult themes in works of art and process the information in highly personal ways.” Integrating the visual arts into difficult world events allow students to learn important news events and interpret these events in a way where they understand and develop their own opinions. On the other hand, teachers can encourage students to participate in a project that incorporates using common materials that we use in our everyday lives in order to create an art scenario that demonstrates an important event or bring awareness about an important social issue. Alcohol awareness and the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling were some of the projects that students in our classroom decided to focus on

Incorporating this project into a classroom can bring a positive learning environment that allows students to express a social issue or current event in a creative way that it is easy to understand according to their age group. With this idea in mind students creating this project will demonstrate to their classmates their critical thinking skills and creativity.

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The shift in perspective described above is intertwined with broader transformations in anthropological approaches to art. Some of the impact of art certainly derives from its aesthetic properties; for example, in ritual, emotional impacts may derive in part from the beauty or tactility of the objects or aspects of performance, or from the virtuosity displayed by an artisan (DeMarrais 2013). In most cultures, some objects are fashioned with effort and skill to create a strong aesthetic impression (Coote 1992; Morphy and Perkins 2006); the natural world similarly has aesthetic qualities that inspire artists as well as viewers

At the same time, anthropologists have traditionally and rightly been cautious about imposing a high culture, aesthetic view of ‘art’ on non-Western peoples and, indeed, on European works before the Renaissance. The category of ‘art’ is often problematic, as ethnographers have repeatedly demonstrated (Gell 1998; Layton 1991; Myers 1991)

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On the whole, conceptual art can be anything that an artist does to express their idea

Conceptual art or the ideas can be displayed without the artist even making the work. Displaying an everyday item, possibly with some text, can portray an idea immediately; it depends on how the object, performance or artwork is exhibited. Conceptual art makes people contemplate and interpret art in a diverse way and shows art in a distinct perspective compared to the traditional art styles and movements.

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Gell, Alfred. 1992. “The technology of enchantment and the enchantment of technology”. In Anthropology, art and aesthetics, Edited by: Coote, Jeremy and Shelton, Anthony. 40–63. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Coote, Jeremy. 1992. “Marvels of everyday vision”. In Anthropology, art, and aesthetics, Edited by: Coote, Jeremy and Shelton, Anthony. 245–73. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

DeMarrais, Elizabeth. 2011. Figuring the group. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 21: 165–86.

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