American Contemporary Art Therapist, Author, Professor of Art at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
We seem to have lost contact with the earlier, more profound functions of art, which have always had to do with personal and collective empowerment, personal growth, communion with this world, and the search for what lies beneath and above this world.
An artistic endeavour comes into the world naked, unnamed, and vulnerable. Every creative effort requires the artist to wrest something from nothingness, a purposive cosmos from an apparently indifferent chaos.
Unless you periodically unbind yourself from the world as it is given to you from moment to moment, you will fail to release those qualities of your mind that can generate images of the world as you would prefer it to be or the world as you declare it to be.
It is not quite accurate to say that the objective of art is to represent what happens to us as a consequence of encountering the world. A fuller description of the task would be to say our aim is to discover what happens to us as we consider things.
Art can be said to be – and can be used as – the externalized map of our interior self.
The essential function of art... is to become personally enlightened, wise, and whole. Then, as a consequence of the former function, the purpose of this wisdom, the purpose of art, is to make the community enlightened, wise, and whole.
The solution to the problems posed in art do not lie outside in the realms of technique and formula; they reside in the realm of fresh thinking about perennial issues, in honest feelings and awakened spirit.