Changing the World Through Art!
How can art change lives?
Art has taken me to many countries around the world. On any given day, I might be standing in front of an audience of leaders or discussing the construction of my artwork with a viewer just walking by my sculpture. Working as an artist has brought me into contact with people who share similar and different beliefs.
It has introduced me to a vast range of perceptions and ideas. Being able to participate in these local and global exchanges has profoundly affected the artworks that I make, driving me to create art that touches people emotionally.
One of the significant challenges facing us today is that we often feel powerless when it comes to helping others and solving problems. We may feel disconnected and unable to change world issues, but we must not be quiet. Only through letting our voices be heard can we have a say in shaping our world.
Many artists used their art to make the change. Some of these artists’ works may be familiar to you, such as Picasso. Others, whom you may not know, have used diverse ways of communicating their perceptions. Guernica represents Picasso’s moving anti-war testimonial. This large-scale painting conveys the chaos and torment of war.
Distinctive definition of art by the famous artist!
The Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, created his works under a repressive regime. He made a temporary studio on the Greek Island of Lesbos to bring attention to the plight of the millions of immigrants trying to enter Europe. He famously said, There’s no refugee crisis, but only a human crisis”.
He is an artist who is effecting change. He posted images on social media of a helpless toddler being washed ashore and laid his own body down to be photographed, saying that each human life is of equal importance. His photos shocked the world, making people aware of these human tragedies.
The Guerrilla Girls, the anonymous feminist activist group, are another example of how artists focus on issues to expose gender, ethnic bias, and corruption in politics. None of them need to know how to draw. Instead, they find original ways to convey powerful political messages and show their messages in public forums.
They wear gorilla masks and use facts, humor, and outrageous visuals. They have made more than a hundred street projects, from billboards to performance art demonstrations. They are most famous for circulating a poster that said:
“DO WOMEN have to get naked to have a show at the Met?”
You can also change the world by doing one small thing when you have time. Speak up, sign petitions, write letters or sit down with someone who has the power to change things. You don’t have to do much; the point is– that you do something! Even a small thing makes a difference. If each of us did one positive thing, the world would be a better place.
What is art according to the perception of famous people?
Most of us know the feeling of being moved by a work of art, whether a painting or a sculpture, a song, a poem, a play, or a dance. When we are moved, we are touched; and then we are transported to a new place. We become aware of previously unfamiliar things to us, which we didn’t focus on before. I believe that this is one of the primary responsibilities of artists, — to make people feel and become aware.
Maya Angelou, civil rights activist, trailblazing director, recipient of over 50 honorary degrees, and educator – this poet had an incredible impact on society, especially within the world of poetry.
She was the first African American woman to write a script made into a Hollywood movie, the first female poet to read a poem at a President’s inauguration, and the first female African American to be a cable car conductor.
Her writing tackled race, gender, and life. Her poem ‘Still I Rise’ carries one of the most powerful messages of resilience and strength, which is still relevant today. ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon: With his political phase in full swing, the ex-Beatle hit encouraged humanity to live peacefully as one group. Its message only became more touching after Lennon’s shocking murder in 1980. Today, it continues to be the go-to song for moments of strife and tragedy.
“Imagine” John Lennon
When we think of leaders who make a difference, we may not think of artists, poets, or songwriters as leaders. However, they have shaped cities and communities, influencing people’s feelings for hundreds of years. I started making art when I was six-year-old. My art has shown me another way to communicate.
“Paradise,” Feuerman, Painted at six years old.
In 1979, while I sat at the beach with my three children, I saw a swimmer emerging like a phoenix from the sea with water droplets streaming down her face. This vision took form in creating my first swimmer sculpture, which I named ‘Catalina.’ She appears to all as a proud survivor, strong and beautiful. A fearless woman.
My sketchbook notes
In 1981, inspired by immigrants I saw floating from Cuba into Key West, I made my most iconic swimmer sculpture, a contemplative woman resting peacefully on an inflatable tube. This serene and meditative sculpture, which I called the ‘Survival of Serena’, was exhibited in the 2005 Venice Biennale in Italy. She was re-named Serenissima after the Island of Venice, the Serene Island.
‘Survival of Serena’ in the Venice Biennale
I have used my works to be my voice. Images can speak volumes to people and be very powerful. After 9/11, I turned from my hyperrealistic figurative art and made bronze spheres.
In my sculpture ‘Still Standing,’ I show that despite the fragmentation and empty areas representing bombings and violence, we remain one world and are still here!
“Seen But Not Heard”
“Seen But Not Heard” is a sculpture portraying a young girl with her eyes closed and her mouth taped shut. She is bound as if she is not able to be heard. In front of her is a bowl with no food in it.
‘Chrysalis & The World’
My most recent sculpture, ‘Chrysalis & The World’, shows a woman praying for world peace and tolerance in meditation. She is seated on top of a polished stainless-steel sphere representing the world. When the viewer investigates the sphere, they see themselves.
Iiennales join nations together, showing the best of their country’s art. TI has participated in Art Biennales all over the world. His year, I had the honor of exhibiting 10 of my sculptures in the Venice Biennale in Italy. The show called Personal Structures, Crossing Borders, a fitting title, will be visited by more than ½ a million people worldwide. Unfortunately, only 35% of this year’s artists in the exhibition are women. No major international exhibition of contemporary art has achieved gender parity.
How is art changing the world?
What kind of world do you want to live in?
Can you imagine a world without art, a world without creativity?
Art motivates us to transform our thinking into saying and doing. Art is not an exclusive club. You can join in. It’s free. These days, we are focused on achieving materialistic things and making money. Now is the time to focus on making our voices heard.
Each of you can engage in art and claim your place in history. You may not realize it, but when you make a souffle or even an omelet, your choice of what to put into your dish is your creative choice. In a way, you have now become an artist.
At this critical juncture, I believe artists should speak through their work. You’ve all heard the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, but art is even more than that. Art teaches, heals, and it influences people’s opinions. Art opens cultural borders and helps us get to know each other, transforming our differences.
And why do we love images so much?
One side of the human brain dedicates itself to visual processing. Our love of images lies with our cognitive ability to pay attention. Our encounters with art and others over art can help us be more tolerant and identify with one another, expand our notions of who we are, and show us that individual engagement in the world has actual consequences.
Ultimately, each of us must maintain the courage of our convictions to meet the extraordinary challenges that confront our world. As you saw in my work, it’s about survival, balance, courage, and strength. These are the messages that can bring global change. Each of you in this room can appreciate and understand this, and that’s why you are making a difference.
That’s why you are here. You are critical to our survival as a global community. We must start now to change the thinking of the past and speak about the present problems and the infinite possibilities of the future.
The moment we find our voice, we are set free!
As you saw in my work, it is about survival, balance, courage, and strength. These are the messages that can bring global change. They are critical to our survival as a global community. Each of you in this room can appreciate and understand this, and that’s why you are making a difference. That’s why you are here.
Changing the world through art: Art reflects how we see the world, and for many, it is an expression of who we are since it reflects our thoughts, feelings, imaginations, and aspirations. Art’s mission has evolved over the years, taking on a helpful perspective here and a socio-educational one elsewhere. Because philosophers, art historians, and artists cannot agree, we are left with many definitions. Hence, art means using skills and creative imagination to create something influential.
The moment you find your voice, YOU ARE SET FREE! You must start now to change the thinking of the past, and speak about the problems of the present? And the infinite possibilities of the future.
In 2011, I formed Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation to generate excitement, interest, and passion for the arts and inspire and award deserving underrepresented artists with exhibition opportunities, internships, and educational grants for college credit. I invite guest curators for each show. Our next exhibition will be held this spring online. “Art During the Pandemic” will exhibit the work of artists influenced by the pandemic. If you would like to submit your work, send 3 – 5 pgs. of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org.