It’s easy to conclude that we feel good when we look at art. Whether the taste is for contemporary themes, classic styles, sculptures, still life, or ceramics, the desire for art is mutual even in those who consider themselves as not artistic. But this mutual feeling isn't simply to please the eye. Studies now reveal that exposure to art delivers a multitude of benefits that impact our health, success, and even our lives. Let's take a look in closer detail at some of the ways art can make your life better.
1. Exposure to art makes you smarter.
Did you know that looking at art directly affects the brain? In 2011, the University of London discovered that blood flow to the brain increased up to 10% when subjects saw beautiful paintings. And in 2013, a social science experiment revealed that students who visit art exhibits demonstrate higher critical thinking, empathy, and social tolerance skills than those who don't. These and many other examples prove that art education is just as critical as the other subjects to learn about. Perhaps the word 'art' is inside 'smart' for a good reason!
2. Art heals your body and mind.
This fact is receiving a lot of attention in recent years, as doctors are noticing that looking at and making art provides a multitude of health benefits. It reduces stress, improves mental health, and boosts the immune system. Art speeds patient recovery time and improves the productivity of hospital staff workers. The UK-based organization Paintings in Hospitals rely solely on this fact in their displays of 4,000 pieces of art in hospitals across Britian, Wales, and Ireland. So much evidence of art improving health exists that we now have certified therapists who specialize in art.
3. Looking at art makes you more productive.
Art gazing may seem like procrastination, but science tells us otherwise. The Guardian reported that office workers who had plants and artwork in their workspace were 15% more effective at getting their tasks done on time. That number doubled to 30% when they were allowed to arrange the art wherever they wanted. Colors in a workspace influence the kind of work you want to accomplish. Blues provide a sense of stability, while yellows sharpen mental focus and red propels creativity.
4. Artwork opens doors in communication.
The visual arts are an excellent way to communicate something when it cannot be described by words. It's a way that we express ourselves and reflect on the human condition. We create a picture with a message based on what we think or how we feel, and share it with others as they try to interpret it. This two-way exchange is powerful and opens doors to communication that other methods couldn't otherwise. In this light, art may be the ticket that helps us create a more peaceful world to live in.
5. Art is the fuel that enriches the quality of life.
Art not only improves our physical and mental health, it empowers us with a sense of purpose. The creativity that comes with producing and looking at art can change our outlook on life and assure us there are better days ahead. Do you feel overwhelmed about something? Take a moment to look at art, or grab a brush or pen yourself. Art provides an escape from the everyday grind and gives us an opportunity to solve problems from a healthy perspective.
Inspired to have more art exposure in your life? Stop by an art gallery on your way home or during errands to take advantage of these benefits. Seaside Art Gallery is home to original art from hundreds of artists around the world. Or, you can look at the art now on our website and don't have to wait!
Chelsea Reed is a freelance copywriter and blogger. She writes articles, blogs, online content, press releases, websites, and is published in North America.