Building peace in the minds of men and women

Art in the life of man

Every child, every man, every culture gives 'form to its feelings and ideas through art. Art is the essence of that which is human ; it is the embodiment of the human experience and goal. From the moment in our history when man became distinguishable as man, art was the mark that distinguished him, and ever since, man has continued to be an artful creature. The art act and object provide constant evidence and demonstration of the human act and objective.

In this contemporary world of growing technology, man views his place along the path of human activity with mixed feelings of pride and doubt. The promise of a tomorrow liberated by human imagination and devotion yet threatened by narrowness, coldness, disintegration, puts man at a crucial point in time and space at which he must carefully re-examine and re-assess the values by which he lives. It is especially important now that we carefully examine the vital functions of the arts in culture and give renewed attention and emphasis to the inherent contributions of the arts to the survival and development of man.

A culture gives evidence of the will and participation of the individual. Art functions in a society much as it functions in the life of an individual. It becomes the emblem of a group, just as it is the mark of a single man. It is a universal and personal implement with which men protect and liberate themselves. It is a plan by which the crowd and the man apart from the crowd can make coherent the fragments of existence. It is an all-embracing sentiment that brings men together, preserving for them, still, their uniqueness. It is a moment in time when every child and every man is beautiful and fulfilled. Art is a dynamic, ubiquitous source which serves human need and manifests the human potential.

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July-August 1961