The artist’s role in society

picasso35I’d like to quote a blog post that I read this morning from Science major that draws. 

” . . . My point is that I enjoy drawing comics but I still didn’t quite understand what role that gave me in society. Scientists gather information for the public to use. Government officials provide a system of rules for the public to utilize.What do artists do for the public?

Answer 1: We distract them from their problems.

While that is a noble endeavor because it provides people relaxation, sometimes artists can be blamed for propagating escapism in our audience. Taken to the extreme, some people could end up admiring artwork all day instead of solving their problems.That might fill up the artist’s wallet but may or may not help society.

Answer 2: We educate them.

Some artists like to use their influence to communicate information about certain things to the public. This could be historical artwork or artwork that takes a stab at social issues or maybe even scientific illustrations. Though this information may also have negative uses such as war propaganda,hate speech or satire.

So that concludes this blog entry. Next time you see an artist thank them for distracting you from your problem and educating you. They won’t realize they’re doing it. “

Adding to this list:

Answer 3: We offer people an opportunity for expression.

Picaso quoteSometimes a person can better express what they are going through with art than with words.  This is especially true with children who often lack the vocabulary to express what is going on.  The difficult part for adults is pushing past the fear of failure, and not caring so much about the finished piece of art .

Answer 4: We challenge people to push boundaries and to think outside the box.

Artists are a breed of people who do not like to face limits.  We tend to question the way things are, how history played out, and how the future could be different. We ask controversial questions.  As artists, we challenge others to push their limits, and to step outside their comfort zone.

Answer 5: We record history.

For centuries the average person was unable to read.  It was the artists who were able to record, and therefore, preserve  history.

Abe-Lincoln-Riding-a-Grizzly-992x533Answer 6:  We give society a voice.

Throughout history, and even in some societies today, people do not have the freedom of speech.  It has been through art, that people were/are able to express themselves without the risk of punishment.


Is there anything you would add to the list?


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