Most parents recognise the huge benefits that art provides in the social, emotional and academic development of their child.
Throughout my life, I have observed how art has improved the lives of people of all ages. As a child, I learned how art therapy helped disabled adults in the day centre where my mother was a volunteer artist. Later, as a teacher, I used art to enable children to express their emotions, make sense of their world, and develop teamwork and problem-solving skills. Art has also helped me to develop my own skills and self-awareness.
However, it is also important to recognise art for simply being a pleasurable experience, whether one is creating or observing. Every human has an intrinsic need to create. The children I teach are clearly happy in their creative activities, because they are working in a relaxed space with access to all the materials they need. They are engaged and passionate about their projects, eager to talk about their ideas and ask questions about art and the world around them. My students feel no need to compete; rather they are keen to share their ideas, inspire each other and learn from any problems they encounter along the way.
The successful adults of the future will be creative, resourceful, empathetic and inspiring.