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 My child has very little interest in Art.  Should I still encourage it?

 I share your child's lack of talent and interest in the subject of Art.  Ironically, my mother has her teaching degree in Art and Music and her formal training at Washington University many years ago, was in Art.  Somehow the talent skipped me and went more to my children who do pretty well with drawing when they take the time for it.   I find the Art museum one of the less interesting places to visit even though I like many things.  With that said, however, like music, I still believe there is value in learning about something that requires skill, discipline and beauty so at least introducing your children to art has merit, whether they choose to pursue it or not. 

I love God's creation and anything that captures this is lovely to look upon to me.  The natural beauty of landscapes, flora or fauna, are my favorite types of artwork.  Pieces that evoke peace, tranquility and loveliness touch my soul and are a beautiful expression of a talent the Lord has bestowed upon that artist.  For the fact that God has gifted us uniquely and individually with talents and abilities, we should celebrate art in what it does to add beauty to the lives of others.  Now, not all that is called art is beautiful and not all expression is good.  For most people, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But, to learn shading, blending of color, shape and form is helpful not only for art appreciation but for recognizing those aspects in nature, landscaping, building and decorating our homes; all practical skills that will be used in other areas of our lives.

I believe a course taught by a morally minded instructor with a Biblical worldview will give your child an exposure and basic appreciation of the subject of art.  There is a lot of immorality and filth tolerated under the guise of art and discernment allows us to reject that from our minds and eyes.  One doesn't have to experience "trash" to know it is out there; that would be unnecessary and wrongful exposure.  There is a marked difference between innocence and ignorance and while God would not have us ignorant, the Word clearly states we are to be innocent of evil and wickedness.  With art there is a definite distinction and our children need to be aware of that. 

Also, keep in mind that art has many forms.  Many crafts are considered art and it is nice to know all of the mediums in which art is expressed.   Pottery, brush painting, finger painting, clay sculpting, wire structures, pasting paper, photography, architecture, and so forth are all considered a form of art. Identify the type of art you or your child enjoy and then do a unit study on some of the artist's of that type of work.  A great modern day artist who shares his faith freely (on video) that might inspire your child is Thomas Kincade; a wonderful family man who wants to use his talent for the Lord in any way that he can.  I find his work very inspiring.  You may, too.

The main reason, aside from cultural exposure, that art was taught is to allow creative expression and improve the fine motor skills of children.  I have personally chosen not to spend as much time on it as I was forced to do in school unless my child has a leaning that way.  Our older son took several art courses over the years.  I would say he is quite well- rounded as a student but he is not using art in what he is doing now.  I am a believer in exposure and minimal experience but not forcing something that has little merit to their future success.  If art is a talent they like and enjoy then pursue it with a purpose in mind.

While I don't possess a talent for art myself, I can enjoy its benefits through those things I choose to place in my home, work area, and outdoor surroundings.  If you can practically show your child a connection with art and life you will help them at least develop an appreciation for it and the fact others have used that talent to enrich someone else's life.


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