The Power of Art

A few years ago over the period of two days (one weekend to be exact) – I experienced a total immersion in the diversity of the arts. Taking in music, literary and visual arts related events, I received a boost of inspiration.

I attended the World Premiere of The Mozart Effect performed by the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in the stunningly beautiful Burlington Centre for the Performing Arts. The music was exquisite, truly a symphony for the senses.  The performance was based on music teacher and music visionary Don Campbell’s’ book “ The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit”.  Two hours flew by while listening to the engaging and invigorating compositions. The infused tranquility and serenity was palpable as the audience made their way out of the auditorium in silence and awe. I could feel the stress and tension being loosened and lifted with the sound of each note floating through the air. It must have been the dopamine (feel good hormone) from the music. McGill University Neuroscientist, Daniel J. Levitin talks about how music has this affect on our brains in his book “This is Your Brain On Music” a groundbreaking look at the union of art and science.

In addition I attended the launch of In Our Words, independent publishers’ newest book “The Literary Connection Volume IV An Anthology of Poems and Stories – Then and Now” in Mississauga.  Listening to the authors reciting their work opened up a window for reflection inviting those in attendance to think differently. Through the words shared, the authors’ perceptions, feelings and experiences about their world were eloquently spoken. The creative expressions of poetry and short stories were compelling and stirring, providing comfort and hope. In conversation the writers acknowledged that we all write to normalize our experience of our lives creating an understanding of what we have in common. Throughout the afternoon, the words that were shared connected us to each other, our shared humanity, helping to dispel our sense of isolation.  Driving home from the event I felt a strong sense of community and oneness with my fellow writers.

The final component of my art immersion experience was attending the closing reception celebration for the Joshua Creek Heritage Arts Centre “Art from the Heart” exhibit in Oakville featuring artist with special needs.  The walls of the gallery were filled with vivid uplifting artwork. Mingling with the artists and guests, and artwork came alive each time an artist would explain the inspiration behind their work. Their eyes would light up with pure joy and I could feel the joy they felt in creating the piece, captured in perpetuity on the canvas. Wrapping up my weekend of art exploration I truly felt engulfed by the power of the arts, empowered and armed with new ways perspectives not only about art but about the life and experiences it is meant to represent.

There is without a doubt a vibrant transformative energy that resonates within us and turns up the volume and colour of our lives when we are exposed to music, literature and visual art. Art creates a bridge to open up conversations that then create connections made through the stories shared behind the music, the words or the canvas. This is why art has the power to uplift us and motivate us. The imagination of musicians, writers or visual artists touches us. Through their work in their creative expressions we can see a part of ourselves that we are not able to give voice.  This helps us to validate our shared humanity. Art is how we make sense of our world and express ourselves.

Taking in the arts can provide us with a respite from our daily routines. We are transported into a place where we can find ourselves floating away inside a melody; given food for thought on some tough current world issues through cleverly crafted written stories, poetry/prose, or distracted from it all as we find ourselves blending in with the colours and textures on a canvas, creating a visual vacation into delight.

We may not be Mozart, JK Rowling or Picasso but sharing our creativity through the music we compose, the words we write and art we make gives us the power to spark flame of curiosity and wonder for others. What we create creates us.

Whether or not you are not a musician, writer or artists, take some time to stroll through an art gallery, listen to some music, read a book and unleash your own creativity.

By: Susan Ksiezopolski

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