How Art Connects Us

This past week I decided to bring my French easel outdoors to do some painting. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to paint than outside surrounded by Mother Nature.

The sky was a deep cerulean blue with a touch of faded dioxazine purple. Puffy clouds tinged with light magenta, paynes gray, lemon yellow, and titanium white swirled above me. The birds were chirping, and the bunnies were busy running around my yard eating the buds of my flowers.

A neighbor who I’ve never spoken to before was out for his walk and seemed interested in what I was painting so I said hello. He looked closer at what I was painting and his eyes softened.

You’re cute, but stop eating my flowers!

The work was my interpretation of “There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe”, from a folk tale I read when I was child about a woman who took care children who lived in a shoe.

He pointed to his phone and showed me a video, and he began playing it for me while doing his best to translate it to English. It was called “The Mitten”, a Ukrainian folk tale. The story was about adorable animals who lived in a mitten.

Video by Anna Bridgland

Since he shared his childhood memory with me, he stops by often to see what I’m painting. I learned he is from St. Petersburg, Russia. He doesn’t like “boom, boom, boom” music but loves Elvis. He has shared photos of Russian artists along with their works, and told me how much he dislikes the large abstract painting displayed in his daughters home. And I’m now helping him learn English.

Art has the remarkable ability to connect people on various levels, transcending differences in language, culture, and background.

Art evokes emotions and feelings that are universal and can resonate with people across different walks of life. Whether it’s a painting, a poem, a song, or a dance performance, art has the power to touch our hearts and stir our emotions, creating a shared experience that connects us at an emotional level.

Here are some of the ways art connects us.

Shared Experiences

Art often reflects the human experience, addressing common themes such as love, joy, sorrow, pain, and the complexities of the human condition. Through art, we can share these experiences and find common ground, creating a sense of empathy and understanding that bridges differences and brings people together.

Cultural Connection

Art is deeply rooted in culture and serves as a reflection of cultural identity. It can showcase the values, beliefs, and traditions of a community or a society. By appreciating and understanding different forms of art from various cultures, we can develop a sense of connection and appreciation for the diversity of the human experience.

Communication and Expression

Art is a form of communication and self-expression. It allows artists to convey their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives, and viewers or audiences to interpret and engage with the artwork in their unique ways. This exchange of ideas and expressions through art can foster dialogue, spark conversations, and create connections between artists and audiences.

Creativity and Inspiration

Art can inspire creativity in others, sparking new ideas and encouraging self-expression. When we see or experience art that resonates with us, it can ignite our imagination and motivate us to express ourselves in our own creative ways. This shared inspiration can foster a sense of connection among artists and enthusiasts alike.

Community Building

Art can bring people together, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Art galleries, museums, theaters, and other artistic spaces serve as gathering places for people to appreciate and discuss art, exchange ideas, and connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for art. Art can also be used as a tool for community engagement and social change, uniting people with a common cause or purpose.

In conclusion, art has the power to connect us by evoking emotions, creating shared experiences, reflecting cultural identity, facilitating communication and expression, inspiring creativity, and building communities.

It serves as a universal language that transcends differences and brings people together, fostering understanding, empathy, and connection among individuals and communities.

24 Comments

  1. Art is indeed a universal language. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. johnlmalone says:

    a delightful folk tale, wonderfully narrated ! I could not have guessed how it would end 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I thought the same about the ending! 🦋😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. johnlmalone says:

    a terrific post, Jennifer: from the lovely descriptions, to the story of your neighbor to the ruminations on the healing, communal power of art, though sadly poetry is diminished because of its reliance on language which painting is freed from —

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed the post! I agree that paintings are more visual, but poetry still connects us to some degree with the many translation tools now available. You write poetry beautifully, John!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. johnlmalone says:

        thank you Jennifer 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great article, I agree with all your points. Greetings and love…

    Like

    1. I just found your comment sitting in my spam folder! WordPress can be so glitchy sometimes. I appreciate your thoughts! 🌻🦋

      Like

  5. Priti says:

    Beautifully written we’ll description! Nice video

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙏🦋

      Like

  6. Bridgette says:

    What a beautiful moment between you and your neighbor. Art is healing and connection.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Bridgette! Art is a gift to all of us. 🌼🦋

      Like

  7. Ashley says:

    And this one! A great post, Jennifer and the more art, the better! 🤗🌹🙋‍♂️

    Like

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Ashley! Enjoy watching those Hawthorns bloom! 🌺🌷🌸🌼

      Like

  8. kegarland says:

    Agree with each of these.

    Like

    1. Thank you, I appreciate your comment.

      Like

  9. SelmaMartin says:

    Such a lovely story you shared about your neighbor. It’s great to have such neighbors.
    The Mitten. I know that story. I used to read it to my kiddos. Xoxo. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Selma. I am fortunate to be surrounded by nice neighbors.
      It’s always nice when something from the past triggers a heartwarming memory. Happy you enjoyed the post! 🌻🌺

      Like

  10. Doug says:

    The mitten tale is odd. Caught in the snow without food and suffering from the cold, the prey and the predators seek shelter together and have a truce. But only the bear can hibernate for the winter. Some of the others will be eaten. Some of the predators who don’t eat will starve to death. Staying with the spirit of the impossible, the old man should have brought them all home, except the bear, and fed them dog food. But then the dog will probably run away, the old man will chase him and they will huff and puff and blow down “The Three Little Pigs House ” and then when the old man brings home the bacon to his estranged wife, they live happily ever after.

    Like

    1. I have to agree that there is a dark side to the tale, but I think you could say the same for others such as Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood. In the end, whether good or bad, they are just made up tales.
      Thank you, Doug. I appreciate you taking the time to read the post and sharing your perspective.

      Like

  11. David says:

    One more way art connects us: to ourselves. Literally bridging the brain’s more logical and intuitive sides together, for better integration – with ourselves! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like that one! Thank you, David 🦋😊

      Liked by 1 person

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