Art plays a vital role in the personal life of an individual as well as in the social and economic development of a nation. The study of the visual arts encourages personal development and awareness of both our cultural heritage and the role of art in society. The learner acquires knowledge, skills and personal competencies through activities in the visual arts. When one studies the visual arts, he or she will appreciate or understand that art is an integral part of everyday life.
The role that art plays in personal development and in the socio-economic development of a nation is explained below.
1. It boosts creativity:
A visual arts education helps the learner develop the ability to think, feel, and act creatively with visual materials. The student also develops the ability to bring something new into being. This desirable quality is acquired when the learner engages in practical lessons such as designing and creating an artifact in solving a problem or fulfilling a need.
2. It offers comprehensive education to the individual:
Visual arts education offers a comprehensive education to learners. Such education comes when the learner produces an artifact in satisfying a particular need in the society. Participates in organizing and exploring artistic materials, tools, and techniques. Moreover, it collects various kinds of ideas, selects the main ideas, simplifies and analyzes them, and collects and separates the ideas. These problem-solving activities help educate the head (mental faculties) of the learner.
Also, when the artist uses the tools and materials he has discovered and the techniques he has acquired in the production of artefacts, he is developing manual or practical skills. This meets the hand teaching.
Visual arts education helps learners appreciate works of art. When we see these artistic creations, they evoke certain feelings in us. Appreciation of work will prompt us to talk about it intelligently and knowledgeably. This educates the heart. As a result, we can say that studying the visual arts provides a creative education for the head, hand and heart.
3. It helps in learning about our cultural heritage:
A visual arts education helps the learner build an appreciation for our cultural heritage handed down to us by our ancestors. This appreciation is gained through learning about different art histories and studying art appreciation and criticism. These studies help the artist understand the meanings and benefits of our art, which embodies our set of beliefs and ideologies. Thus, works of art are used to preserve the ideas, knowledge, and beliefs of a society as they are passed on from one generation to the next. In this way, we learn about our cultural heritage.
4. It provides knowledge about aesthetics:
Studying the visual arts helps learners develop strong ideas about beauty (aesthetics). As the learner is exposed to a lot of appreciation and criticism of various artistic creations, he or she develops ‘good taste’. He is able to distinguish between works of art that are aesthetically pleasing and those that are not. This helps the learner to make decisions and make good judgments.
5. Personal and national identity projects:
Visual arts education helps learners build self-esteem and personal ego. When an artist produces works of art both inside and outside a community or country, he is displaying his identity or making himself known to his country’s citizens and foreigners. This largely happens when the artist exhibits his artistic creations during art fairs, exhibitions, and bazaars. When an exhibition is organized outside the country and the artist participates in it, it helps greatly to make his nation visible.
Also, because business themes or topics from Ghana speak lavishly about our culture, they help make our culture known to others in the world.
6. Helps to develop self-reflection for a friendly human relationship:
The skills needed to build healthy family and human relationships are reflected in the artistic activities. By organizing the many opposing elements of design such as lines, shapes, texture, tone, pattern, and color into pleasurable relationships, the artist can develop a peaceful and friendly relationship with people of different personalities and cultural identities.
An art appreciation study that teaches learners to develop the ability to see the “good” in all artistic creation also builds in learners the ability to accept people as they are. This self-reflection helps in the development of friendly human relations.
7. Promotes perceptual, psychomotor and emotional patterns of development:
Visual arts education enhances the cognitive style of development of learners. Reasoning and reasoning skills are developed by organizing material into art forms and appreciating it critically. This critical thinking helps in the cognitive development of the learners.
Hands-on activities in the visual arts help exercise muscles and keep the body healthy. This enhances the psychomotor development of the learners.
The emotional or affective development of the learners is nurtured through the appreciation of artworks. Practical lessons in the learned art help cultivate desirable qualities such as patience, longsuffering, and tolerance, which help the heart to be always healthy.
8. Art is used to correct defects in physical, psychological and emotional development:
Practical activities in visual art can help reduce stress and emotional stress in people. The lives of physically challenged people and social misfits are reorganized or changed when they engage in practical art lessons. Those who are deficient in their physical and psychological development are gradually corrected as they explore artistic tools and materials in creating artworks. Therefore, art serves as a treatment or medical aid for those with developmental deficiencies.
9- Provides ways to develop domestic and small-scale industries:
The Visual Arts program provides a creative base for creating small industries. Students are taught how to produce high quality products that meet the tastes and demands of the market. In addition, learners are instructed in entrepreneurial skills and factors to consider when creating their own projects in the field of art. This training helps the learners to establish their own small industries.
10. It boosts the tourism industry of the nation:
Artworks are sold to tourists to earn foreign exchange. Art souvenirs are exported to foreign lands to earn big money for the artist and the nation as a whole. This helps in boosting the tourism industry.
11- Art reduces poverty:
Art is an income-generating project that provides employment for many Ghanaians. It helps its practitioners to earn money to support themselves and their families thus reducing the poverty rate in the nation.