Can Art Change the World?

Many artists throughout history have had lofty goals for their art:

Diversity: hands on a globe

Can art do that?
Can art change the world?
Why? Why not?

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21 thoughts on “Can Art Change the World?”

  1. As the saying goes….”indeed…it’s the only thing that ever has.”
    The ability to inspire is the secret ingredient. Great leaders regularly employ (or depress) artists, songwriters…poets and writers. Artists can change how we view our society. Really, you don’t have to go far to find examples. (Ai Weiwei, Kahlo, Picasso, Harding, Sargent, Lautrec, The Rolling Stones, Warhol…..)
    Consider yourself a world game-changer.

  2. Can art change the world?
    In short, “yes”.
    Art is a part of every aspect of our lives, whether people realize it or not. I I believe that creating is a form of meditation which transforms the artist or artisan. The product is simply a message to the world. However the world chooses to translate it, can be transformational.
    Whether the art is political, spiritual,inspirational, or simply something pleasant to look at…on some level, they are all able to create a change be stimulating the viewer’s senses and thought patterns. Even a tiny insignificant change in one person’s thought pattern can change the world.
    to me the real question is, ” WHAT KIND of change does the art create?”….because there is no doubt in my mind that it will one way or the other.

  3. Change the world? Maybe the real question should be ‘can art change my world’ and the answer to that is a deep yes! I think the purpose of art is to inform and delight. Painting and creating transform me and my surroundings into play and laughter In that way they touch everyone who comes into the studio.

  4. Yes art can change the world!I would say though that art is more of a reactive form of communication.The creator expresses a view or emotion from their perceptions. I think throughout history and well before language was even spoken it has always been an expression of what our thoughts and needs are (ex.cave paintings). Art can change the world by showing the viewer what another person is thinking and then reacting to that by inspiring new thoughts and ideas in them. In turn they (the viewer) might look at the world differently and change the way they do things.

  5. Absolutely. It’s the only language that has a direct link to our unconscious mind and emotions. Churches, dictators and corporate executives have all used art to their advantage. We have that opportunity too. But hopefully we are using it to elevate the spirit and enrich the lives of the people and communities we love.

  6. I agree with Brittany Faulkner and everyone else’s comments. All people have an in born creativite spark that can be ignited by sharing it with the world. Artists have shaped and portrayed their creative consciousness since the beginning of humankind. We can and do change the world with our creativity with art particularly.

  7. Victoria Pendragon

    per Janice: As the saying goes….”indeed…it’s the only thing that ever has.”
    …does anyone know where that ‘saying’ came from?

  8. Art can be a great force for change in the world. Artists bring imagination and new vision to the world. Artists, poets and other creatives are the first to be silenced when they threaten governments or other establishments with their new vision.
    BBC News Oct. 2, 2012 – “Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to lose design business license”

  9. Absolutely art can change the world. You know when you walk into a space where everyone is angry or negative and how it feels and effects you, well, imagine thousands of artists unleashing their creativity through their artwork. All the positive energy has to be good for the world and the universe for that matter.

  10. Yes, art can change the world. But let’s not get lofty – we don’t have to. It’s very existence is a change and that is true even for mediocre art. Art can inspire, elucidate, illustrate. The real factor for change, however, is actions by people both individually and en masse.
    Note that change can be either positive or negative and art, like any “force” can be used both ways.

  11. i definitely think art can change one persons world when they are touched deeply by a piece of art. but honestly i believe the things that change a world are understanding, joy, forgiveness, gratitude, empathy and love. if those kinds of feelings and emotions can be found in art for many, many people then maybe that synergy can change the world. but otherwise no.

    1. thanks SO much Beth! I use to paint…both on canvas and lots of murals, but graphite is my first love!! hope to get into pastel painting in the next few years tho!

  12. It already has, one example was the contribution of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet
    Beecher Stowe to ending slavery.
    Now, what contribution is your art making, are you aware of it, and is it really the contribution you wanted?

  13. Art in all forms — writing, theater, dance and fine art can and does change the world. I can’t comment on the entire world, but narrowing the focus — meeting you and reading your work Alyson (which is the written word — the art of writing) has transformed my thinking on art and changed me and so many other artists. As for art — beautiful art in public spaces harmonizes those spaces — witness, Chicago or Florence. The art is such a huge part of what it means to be there. In my own small world — the art of the people I meet through my art blog, and the exchange of ideas between artists, keeps me making art, thinking about art, and makes me feel like I’m part of a wider world community. That’s made my world vivid and dynamic — a huge change. Great thought. Thanks for your art.
    XO Barbara

  14. I’m going to be a rebel and say no, art cannot change the world.
    Because all that comes with art (emotion, innovation, creation, ect.) is already innate with humanity. From an analytic perspective, all the benefits of having art in the world has already been accounted for. If it could make things “better” it would have done so by now, but as anyone who reads Art News and the sort would see that art at various levels may be used for purposes of corruption and greed. It is lovely to see art as a force that can change the world, but art is of the world, so I think its a little silly and romantic to believe that it does. I would suggest that art would be more effective to suspend such belief.
    Thank you for giving me the privillage to spout off. Goodwill to those who consider.

  15. Art can change the world it’s all about how it’s used. Making poltical statments, marketing products that otherwise might never have had a chance, even the illistrators of childerns books with their chance to help educate the younger generation the pen is mighter than the sword and the paint brush is even mighter than the pen.

  16. Pingback: How to Know It’s Time for a Change — Art Biz Blog

  17. Art can change the world because, it can change the way we look at things, the way we think about things or the way we perceive something/someone. It can be an incremental change, like “paying it forward” one small kindness travels and encourages another small kindness and it snow balls all over the world.
    Artworks can illustrate similarities in cultures that would cause an observer to realize that “they” are not so different after all…

  18. What I belive is that art can change the world in many ways. It can be negative or posative, but when I think about it I say to myself can everyone accept art into their lives and come together. I belive that in the future we can all make a change in how people see life and express them selves in a way benifishal to all.

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