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Art: Expression with a Purpose

By Sharon

Katherine Dreier: “The function of art is to
free the spirit of man and to invigorate and enlarge his vision.”

Marc Chagall: “Art must be an
expression of love or it is nothing.”

Here’s a quick look at ways in which art is
being used to make a positive difference:
Art for the World, associated with
the United Nations Department of Public Information, strives to create a bridge
between art and society. Its mission is to “create, through the universal
language of art a meaningful and enduring dialogue among diverse peoples,
cultures, and world views in order to encourage tolerance and solidarity and to
foster education as a human right.”
One of Art for Humanity‘s projects is to
provide art supplies to artists in Honduras and facilitate the sale of their art
in the U.S.

Art Without Borders
focuses on “helping artists transcend their own self imposed borders or actual
geographic borders, economic barriers and allow the rest of us outside these
‘borders” to see a different perspective of our world.” Recent activities
include a traveling exhibit of “New Orleans Artists in Exile.”
In Jacksonville, Florida, artist Daniel Wynn
was one of six local artists to receive a grant that will allow them to transform
a neglected neighborhood park into an “art oasis.”


The “Call for Peace” Flickr group
invite members to post photos that represent message of peace. Other Flickr
groups of interest include “Humanitarian Aid,” which defines
itself as “a clearinghouse for aid/relief workers to share their experiences
through photographic expression,” and Global Poverty, in which
members post photos of poverty around the world.
Celebrating Peace aims to
enrich the lives of children through the pursuit of peace. It includes an online
gallery for children’s artwork on peace, as well as ideas on encouraging
children to care about peace.

The Origami Peace
was started in Russia to connect people around the world in friendship
and to promote a peaceful world through the art of origami. Around 1,500
participants from 53 countries have participated in the Peace Tree Festivals.

Art with a purpose allows us to face the
sometimes troubling reality of our world, to open our eyes to new and
challenging perspectives, and to engage in envisioning change for the better. As
such, I think it goes hand-in-hand with progressive faith.

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