Date of Award

5-16-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Joyce Rubin

Second Reader

Michelle Stefanik

Abstract

Nora, having finished drinking her milk, tosses her sippy-cup to the side. At first she doesn't see the casual stream of milk that has been strewn across the black wool carpet, but as you can imagine it does not escape her for long. Imagine the look on her face as she discovers that she can control the amount and pattern of the milk on the floor. She begins to tap the tip of the cup on the carpet watching the white spots this creates. As pools of white are formed she takes her fingers and drags them across the rug creating streaks of white.

I imagine that the first artists who were creating drawings and paintings on stone surfaces had the same sense of wonder and delight that Nora had in creating her "milk drawing". The magic of art is that it exists in all of us and has since the beginning of time. By the time we are grown adults the world has told us that we are not artists but doctors or mathematicians or teachers, but I would argue that we are all in fact still artists and that art is essential to everything we do. Many scholars say art is what makes us human.

In this age, it would seem that it i s hard to recognize the importance of art education. When school budgets are cut, special subjects- including art programs- are among the first to see the effects . If, however, art is essential to our being human, we will always have art, and we will always have artists- even when school programs are cut. The struggle is to find an argument for art training that indicates a greater good for all society.

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