The Malleable and Motivational Framework of Aesthetic Values

By Cindy Bravo, director of visual and performing arts
Director of visual and performing arts describes art impacting our humanness.
Interactions that question how we see, feel and think can cause us to temporarily be uncomfortable, but it is only through an intense focus on self-identity that we can fully understand the value of our voice. Creative reflection is a responsibility we have to ourselves and to the improvement of our environment.

Artists like Tolstoy, Bach, Bernstein, Boulanger, Lumet and Camus are a few of my access points as I search for what art is and how it impacts our humanness. When I spend time analyzing their theories, art and life are perceived as fluid, and fundamentally, core to our preparedness to impact the community.

Influential works of art share a narrative that is more profound than what we see in front of us. The New York Times recently posted an article about previously hidden elements in Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting as seen through new imaging technology. By “peeling back the layers” the audience now has access to additional political and social commentary that add depth and meaning to the work. If we only acknowledge the final product as proof of authenticity, we miss out on the intricacies of the thought process behind a creative mind.

When the community becomes an audience, we share a belief that creative pursuits reveal additional layers. Imagine what might happen to our perspective if we were always given an opportunity to speak to the actors, artists and musicians post-experience?

The development of new art, in any format, is a multidimensional framework that encourages individuals to share in a space of exchange. In essence, the motivation to create is profoundly connected to a perception of self within our environment. By having a sense of belonging, we can be our authentic selves and listen to better understand.

When we choose to think and create pluralistically, we mediate the relationship between curiosity and democracy with a rigorous commitment to dignity and the common good for all. It is imperative that we return to our kaleidoscopic view once held as a child and value the dedication by artists, for they see the poetics within differences and challenges as the primary motivation to change the world.

The ability to learn about the world through numerous perspectives heightens our sensibilities and nurtures lifelong learners to be reflexive and action-oriented. What we learn about ourselves in private is very different than what we come to understand through public interactions.

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