Art is important and learning to appreciate art will prepare us for the future. Begin to break down the Glass Wall that separates artists and art authorities from non-art goers. Have some fun! Talk to an artist with the goal of connecting to the artist’s message conveyed through his or her art.
Visit an art museum. Most communities have quality art museums and galleries. When visiting a museum or gallery don’t be shy, ask lots of questions. Museum docents love art and are eager to share what they know. If a docent is not available, museums also provide visitor guides that explain the art.
Gallery owners and artists appreciate your interest in their art and enjoy sharing the motivation and story behind the art represented. Artists typically prepare a written statement that provides insight into what has influenced their work and the message they want to convey through their art.
Follow me on Twitter @RenitaWolf
Experts believe that creativity can indeed be taught. Jerry Wind, a marketing professor at Wharton has taught a course in creativity for years, and says that “in any population, the distribution of creativity follows the normal curve. At the absolute extreme you have Einstein and Picasso, and you don’t have to teach them – they are the geniuses. Nearly everyone else in the distribution, and the type of people you would deal with at leading universities and companies, can learn creativity.”
Creativity is like a muscle, if you train yourself you can become more creative. Creativity can be developed and therefore taught. It can’t be taught in the normal sense of adding knowledge and wisdom to someone, but it can be re-kindled in people.
In whatever the sector or discipline creativity shares certain traits. It is difficult to define creativity because it exists in many different domains. However, it is easy to identify creativity and most creative ideas share a common structure of being highly original and highly useful. Newness and usefulness are the main indicators of acts of great creativity. Creativity must add value to the stakeholders to be successful.
All art has a story to tell, some stories include the battle for survival of a country’s cultural heritage.
Looted art has been a consequence of looting during war, natural disaster and riot for centuries. Looting of art, archaeological and other cultural property has a long history with the winning party of armed conflicts often plundering the loser.
The contents of nearly all the tombs of the Pharaohs were completed looted by grave robbers before the invasion of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE. There have been a total of seven sackings of Rome and the Old Testament includes several references to the looting of art and treasures. After the looting of Europe by Napoleon, others copied the institutionalized model of systematic plunder and looting.
World War II
During World War II, the Nazis set up special departments for the seizure and securing of objects of cultural value. Degenerate art was legally banned from entering Germany by the Nazis. The Commission for the Exploitation of Degenerate Art confiscated and sold the art abroad for foreign currently. Degenerate art included the art of Chagall, Picasso, Matisse, Degas, and others.
In 2012, 1400 artworks were seized in Munich. The artworks were suspected of being looted by the Nazis during World War II. The collection included old masters as well as impressionists and expressionist paintings. This collecting is still being evaluated and pieces continue to be returned to their rightful owner.
Syria’s Civil War
The civil war in Syria has taken an epic toll. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports more than 320,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in 2011. Along side the human cost, cultural damage has mounted. Ancient cities such as Homs and Aleppo have been reduced to rubble. Roman, Greek, Babylonian and Assyrian sites have been destroyed by fighting and looting, and five of the six Unesco World Heritage sites in Syria have been seriously damaged.
A group of unlikely warriors are fighting on a little-known front in Syria’s civil war, the battle for the country’s cultural heritage. These warriors are a small group of academics who work in secrecy because of the dangerous nature of the work they do. Their mission is to save ancient artifacts and imperiled archeological sites from profiteers, desperate civilians and fundamentalists who have plundered Syria’s right artistic heritage to fund their war effort – to save Syria’s cultural heritage for the future in order to rebuild an inclusive Syria after the war.
These warriors have few resources, are seldom supported by armed units, and they are frequently aided by smugglers. These archaeologists sketch out damage assessment and shoot images with a camera or cellphone. In some cases they wrap and bury objects at risk of being looted and record the GPS location to be recovered in the future.
The United National Security Council has banned all trade in antiquities from war-torn Syria due to the concern that the Islamic State and other groups are generating funds from the trafficking of looted artifacts.
This past week the World Economic Forum published a map revealing the full extent of ISIS’s cultural destruction. For more information visit http://wef.ch/1owCXO