Intern Dylan Daniels Blogger

Art is often seen as decoration or entertainment, but in reality, art can serve a deeper purpose. Art, whether in visual arts, performative art, or any medium between them, plays a crucial role in both community growth and personal development.

  • Cultural Expression:

Art reflects a community’s values, traditions, and aesthetics, and helps understand the history, culture, and experiences of others. People often create art to express their culture, and others can use art to help them understand someone else’s culture. While many cultures are diverse and distant from each other, art helps build the bridge across cultural landscapes. 

  • Community engagement:

Art brings people together through galleries, museums, and performance spaces. It creates a platform for collaboration and invites everybody to connect with art and one another. Public art projects further enhance engagement, in turn making stronger bonded communities, fostering a sense of collective identity and pride.

  • Education and creativity:

Art programs provide opportunities to learn new skills and foster innovation and creativity. Fostering these attributes is important for personal growth, development, and critical thinking skills. Art is necessary to achieve full creative potential and unlock skills such as emotional intelligence, and cultural awareness.

  • Economic growth:

Art contributes to the local economy through tourism, cultural events, and the selling of arts and goods. It creates a good source of revenue, creates jobs for artists, and has a larger economic impact than other sectors such as construction. Whether it be galleries, museums, or programs, art delivers financial benefits.

  • Health benefits

Participating in and experiencing art improves mental health, reduces stress, and enhances well-being. Art is a creative outlet people can use to express their emotions and thoughts, leading to a deeper understanding of themselves. Art therapy can further help disorders such as depression and reduce symptoms of PTSD.

  • Personal development

Creating and experiencing art can promote personal growth, self-discovery, and a sense of accomplishment. Art can be used to explore personal goals and express thoughts or feelings. Expressing feelings through artistic means can help one develop creativity and problem-solving skills, and can lead to self-exploration and self-reflection.

  • Communication beyond words

Art can transcend linguistic and cultural barriers, serving as a universal language. Art allows people to communicate complex emotions and thoughts non-verbally and allows anybody to create their own interpretation. Art can also inspire others to create art of their own, and can then further inspire more people.

  • Emotional impact

Viewing art can help inspire creation, and impact people’s own thoughts or emotions. Art is profound and evokes deep emotions that may have been impossible to reach without art. Whether it is the narrative of a film, colors, and shapes on the canvas, or the sounds of combined instruments, art allows people to unlock and understand their emotions.

  • Voice

Art gives people a voice when they feel as though they might not have them. Although some might struggle to express themselves through writing or speech, Art provides an alternative way to reach people. Art can inspire change, challenge harmful norms, and impact the world for the better. Art’s ability to evoke emotions and provoke thought makes it a powerful tool for sparking conversations about important social issues that may otherwise go unnoticed or unaddressed.

  • Aesthetic enjoyment

While art is so much more than just something cool to look at, it can also be just that. Art doesn’t always have to be meaningful and can just be a decorative piece or a funny movie. Art contributes to the beauty of the environment and boosts the morale of communities. This enjoyment and appreciation for art creates a sense of pride and connection in communities.

Ultimately, art transcends mere decoration. While it can be as simple as a cool painting, it can also be a creative outlet to express emotions, thoughts, culture, and experiences. Incorporating art into communities not only enhances our environments but also fosters creativity, empathy, and a deeper understanding of each other. Art encourages the exploration of thoughts, feelings, and cultures,  making it essential for creating communities where everyone has a voice in the ability to express themselves creatively.

Dylan Daniels, TAC Intern, with AI tools and Image by Canva


The New Project Gallery Welcomes its First Artist-In-Residence

TAC unveils its new Project Gallery. This space acts as a studio gallery for working artists to participate in artist residencies. It’s located downstairs on TAC’s studio level, where classes, camps, and workshops are held throughout the week.

The first artist to commemorate the space is Bari Wieselman Schulman. Bari is a painter and holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Chicago. Her background in the psychology of language informs her style, which is very gestural, full of abstract shapes that bring to mind cursive lettering, or even cave paintings and hieroglyphics. She has filled the gallery with her work on paper, wood, and fabric, and will soon host an artist discussion on May 30th.

Bari will work on select days in the Project Gallery throughout May and June, using it as a studio and exhibition space to showcase her work as it evolves in real-time. She has named the current body of work, which adorns the walls in swaths of color, chaotic coherence coherent chaos.

With the Project Gallery finished, we hope the students and guests at The Center are inspired by seeing a working artist creating freely. Stop by to see the Project Gallery anytime during TAC gallery hours, Mon-Sat, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Meet Our New Education Chair

Photo of Ahmed Ibrahim, working with a hammer and hardie.Mosaic instructor Ahmed Ibrahim will continue teaching his popular classes at TAC but will be joining our office staff part-time! He will work with our Director of Education, Mairin Hartt, to bring on new teachers, create new classes and workshops, and expand our offerings.

Ahmed Ibrahim has been working in mosaics since 2000 and believes that the most important part of your artistic practice is venturing outside of your comfort zone.

Ahmed worked as part of the Sabry Mansour artist team designing and installing large-scale mosaic murals at the Ahram Canadian University in Cairo, as well as a project at Helwan University on the Festival Building and many other public projects. He has created and installed many public outdoor and indoor mosaic projects around the Greater Chicagoland area. Currently, along with completing public works, Ahmed is a Mosaic Teaching Artist teaching at The Art Center Highland Park and the Hyde Park Art Center. Ahmed’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been awarded 1st Jury prize of the 14th International Mosaic Meetings, Chartre, France.

Ahmed has a Bachelor’s degree in Mural Arts from Helwen University in Cairo, Egypt.