Take time to appreciate arts on campus
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 11:01
Being one who covers the arts a lot in this publication, you can only guess what my world is wrapped around. So often, as one of the editors, I find myself calling shots on content from week to week and being the Type-A stickler that I am (much to the amusement and annoyance of others), I try my hardest to be objective in my choosings. I review University Relations releases, campus calendars, emails and a plethora of information that somehow assembles its way into a list of story ideas that then get into each issue.
However, I am here now to admit my bias: the arts are my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I entirely appreciate all subjects on this campus, all clubs and all types of people. We need those scientists, those lovers of animals and plants, those math wizards and even those crazy media people (I can say that because I am one of the crazies). And I enjoy covering them. However, I am always drawn to heavily cover the arts in this publication, because while the other subjects fuel us forward as a society and do need coverage, it is the arts at UTM that has touched me in such a special way, and I want others to have that too.
It is the arts that reflect so much of life in a completely subjective, yet universal way, inspiring people to truly take action and connect with others. Whether it’s a painting, a music piece, a photograph or a well-written poem, these free-flowing expressions show us what it means to be human, the good and the bad.
I recently returned from a choir tour to the Northwest (see page 5 for a full story), and by going on that tour, I was reminded of just how important the arts are, and how when you work hard to achieve excellence in your expression, you are rewarded beyond measure, and you are able to truly connect with anyone, whether they are black or white, female or male, believe in a God or simply believe in an idea of truth or balance. Art creates the bridges that we so desperately need to understand our condition, the bridges that close the gaps that sometimes seem so wide between humans.
On this choir tour, I found myself in a group of people who all had different backgrounds, but when we sang, we found a common truth, a touch of something larger than ourselves. Between the laughter, intellectual conversations, and even tears at times, I found how even when the world seems too large and you feel like a small dot in the midst of it all, when you engage in artistic expression, the world suddenly doesn’t seem so big; that one person that you thought was so different than you waArts actually the same as you, a part of the human condition.
That’s the beauty of art and that’s why the artists I’ve met at UTM (specifically, the musicians) do such a fine job of representing it. Because they work hard, always raising the bar and never being afraid of fighting for what is right, moving forward in getting as close as they can to truly achieving an expression that touches anyone and everyone.
When I think of the importance of art, I am always reminded of John Keating’s expression in Dead Poet’s Society where he says, “Medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for.”
So if you get the time this semester, make yourself attend a poetry reading, a play, an art showing or a music recital. I promise, it’s a better hour spent than scrolling down your Facebook feed or playing another round of Angry Birds.
It reminds you of what it means to truly be alive.