Make Every Day World Art Day

Adobe’s Mala Sharma explains why art instruction should be a part of children’s everyday lives.

by Mala Sharma

posted on 04-15-2019

It often seems that art and creative expression are undervalued in an increasingly technology-driven society. I believe, though, that art has never been more important. So, on this World Art Day, I want to encourage everyone, but especially parents, teachers and administrators to celebrate artistic expression in students and children – not just today, but every day.

Art has exceptional value to offer young children, but art classes are often limited to once a week – if at all! — while math, science and language arts classes are taught daily. Art teaches a way of thinking creatively that is only growing in importance as AI and other emerging technologies continue to revolutionize the way we work and live.

In fact, World Art Day is held on April 15, in honor of Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday. The ultimate Renaissance man, da Vinci epitomizes the importance of bringing the arts and sciences into one mind.

Art develops creative-problem solving skills

At its core, art is about problem-solving, expression and creation. Art teaches students to think conceptually and abstractly to make independent choices. These skills will be required for future jobs, as AI handles more operational and process-based parts of work. Jobs that require creativity and creative problem-solving skills will continue to be in demand. Art is the ideal path to develop these skills and should be integrated more thoroughly into existing curricula.

Teachers are making a difference

There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence suggesting that integrating art and creativity into more standard subjects such as history helps keep students engaged. In the United Kingdom, Adobe partners with LitFilmFest, a program that uses filmmaking to promote literacy among children. One of the schools participating in the program, Tottington Primary School (TPS), sponsored a student film festival to showcase the school’s student filmmakers. Simon Hunt, a teacher at TPS, believes his students’ exposure to filmmaking is making them more engaged and enthusiastic about learning. “There is nothing better than a child doing work and wanting to learn” Hunt said. “If you’ve got that as a teacher and as a school than half of your job is done.”

Students at Tottington Primary School in the UK host a film festival to showcase student video creations as part of the school’s partnership with LitFilmFest.

Similarly, at the Langley Park Girls School (LPGS) in the United Kingdom, teachers like Lucy Jerry use tools such as Adobe Spark, a free app for easy and quick creation of videos, web stories and graphics, to teach content-heavy history in a more visual way. And the students are responding positively to these instruction methods! Mariya, a history student, said that by using Adobe Spark to create projects, she processed the material better. She explained, “It [Adobe Spark] helps me remember because if I just look at a textbook and it doesn’t have any pictures or color, it just seems bland.”

In the U.S., Lisa Gottfried, a digital media teacher at New Technology High School, led a team of students to engage their entire school in a day-long Createathon using Adobe products such as Photoshop, Ilustrator and Premiere Pro. These student-made Createathon designs were then used to develop a lighted art piece that was displayed to 20,000 audience members during a local downtown Napa Lighted Art Festival.

Join the #CreativityMovement-let’s do this!

We know that bringing creativity into the classroom is easier said than done. Educators describe many challenges, including a lack of resources for creativity-focused lesson plans. Adobe’s Education Exchange, a free learning platform and community designed by educators for educators, is an excellent resource to address this barrier. The Exchange is free to join, and the curriculum and courses are also completely free.

Every parent and teacher is in a position to send the message that creativity and creative problem-solving skills are imperative for today’s children. Please join us in weaving creativity and creative problem-solving into the fabric of education in your schools and community, so that we can empower this next generation to bring their whole selves—including their creative selves—to bear.

We invite you to continue the conversation during our weekly #CreateEdu Twitter chat series every Thursday from 6:00-6:30 p.m. ET/3:00-3:30 p.m. PT.

Topics: Creativity, Art

Products: Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Creative Cloud