What is Art, Really?
It's times like these-- new years that exhaust us with more uncertainty and simultaneously fill us with (cautious) hope-- in which art is more essential than ever.
Here, I am asking us to broaden our definition of art and dig deep to why humans continue to cling to art.
We're all artists. The question is: What does your art look like in this season and are you honoring the conversation that's coming through?
You see, underneath whatever form our art takes is our human need to connect to the ever-evolving meaning of what it is to be... human; to explore, express and find deeper understanding in a journey that is altogether ineffable.
During our Elements of heART program, I sometimes pose the question "what is art?" and am often struck by the profound answers elicited by young ones:
"...showing what you feel on the inside, outside."
"...making what you love seen."
"...letting others see who you are even if you don't know yet."
Underneath these sweet answers is a universal desire to give form to our human need to connect to something bigger than ourselves.
Discovering that my creative practices were really a connection to the divine-- call it God, Source, the Universe, call it what you will-- was an opening to incredible healing and transformation that continues to unfold with each creation, iteration and community connection.
"Look around! It's all art," a wise five year old Simon once said.
The power of broadening our definitions of art is that it gives us the opportunity to find connection and meaning in many places and activities. It allows us to grow incrementally through both intentional and unexpected ways.
Art gives us agency over our lives, ourselves and the intricacy of what it means to be human.
Sometimes we speak, sometimes we listen, sometimes we need rest and sometimes we need action. The tension between our experience and its physical form holds our becoming.