Hey Kid: Art Appreciation

One of the best things about studying World History or Church History is learning about and gaining an appreciation for art. I was never much of a fan growing up, but I think that was mostly because I didn't understand it. There was a time when art (all forms) was used as a form of communication and/or instruction for the uneducated or illiterate. This made up the vast majority of the population at the time. Those who could not read learned from pictures, statues, icons anything that could tell a story, visually. This art included music, dance and theater as well. Whatever got the message across.

Once you understand representation in art, you can figure out who or what is in the depiction. I.e. Purple represented royalty or blooming lilies for Joseph, the husband of Mary. Once you have a basic understanding, it turns into a mystery-solving game. Each piece tells a story. It's up to the audience to interpret individually. Each one of us will have a different experience.

Be open to the opportunities for art appreciation. Try new things. Some you will love and some will bore you. Figure out which ones you enjoy and revisit often. Our engagement with art activates parts of our brain that otherwise remain dormant. Stimulate your creativity by experiencing the efforts of others. You'll be surprised at how much you learn... and just maybe how much you enjoy what you witness.