Editor’s Blog: In the Art Garden

This weekend marks the start of free entry to the museums and the return of the 2013 edition of Children’s Season. With numerous workshops, activities and exhibitions planned, there are plenty of reasons for parents and children to make their way around the 19 participating museums over the June holidays. The coming week also sees the opening of I Theatre’s ACE! 2013 Festival Lite where two children’s productions, The Magic Porridge Pot and The Enormous Turnip, will be staged.

The Value of Art

All this got us pondering, “What is the value of the Arts to a child?”

‘L’art pour l’art”, translated “Art for art’s sake”, is a philosophy often attributed to Theophile Gautier (1811 – 1872). It espouses the intrinsic value of art and argues that art need not serve any moral or utilitarian purpose. Others such as African writer Chinua Achebe (writer of Things Fall Apart who recently passed away in March) have criticised this view as empty and euro-centric.

We don’t intend to jump into the fray on this debate. Instead, what we have observed is the wonderment and excitement the Arts bring to children. It allows children to keep their minds open to the world of endless possibilities and escape the bounds of ‘un-creativity’.

While rules, structure and rigour have their place in a child’s growing up years, these should be balanced off with invention, imagination and the tenacity to dream. And that, to us, is the value of the Arts to a child.

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