Many in the Hopkins Community have found solace in art, as students and teachers alike shared the impact art has had on their lives. Robert Smith, the head of the art department, shared: “Growing up as an only child, I often turned to art as an escape and a way to engage my mind.” Smith shows the effect art has on a person as it helped him “come out of [his] shell and build [his] confidence.” Helen Xiong ’24 agreed with the idea of “coming out of one’s shell through art” as she shared, “Art [has] helped me through life, because it helped me make new friends who also like art, explore new communities, and look at the world [from] other people’s perspective[s].”
Involvement with art can also provide perspective and an attentiveness to details that often gets overlooked in the rushed nature of life. Co-head of Art Club Vivian Wang ’23 reflects on this sentiment: “The skills I learned in art—such as paying attention to details and form and building a greater imagination—have helped me become more observant and ultimately more open-minded, which is crucial in building a broader view on the world.” Caitlin Phipps ’24 acknowledged this, saying, “Art makes me appreciative for the world around me. [...] The mundane parts of life become pretty and unique, something to be captured and cherished.” Sofia Schaffer ’23, co-head of Art Club, agrees with Phipps: “When you spend enough time drawing and painting, you automatically start to translate the world around you into works of art.”
Students appreciate a day dedicated to art, which can often be overlooked in the busyness of daily life. Schaffer supported this thought: “I feel like a lot of people (especially Hopkins students) think that art is superfluous, that it’s the frivolous icing on top of a STEM-based cake. I couldn’t disagree more. [...] World Art Day is wonderful because it reminds people that art not only helps us understand the world, but it makes the world a place worth living in.” Ava Maccaro ’24 agreed with this, mentioning: “As an art student, I sometimes feel lost in the STEM-centered nature of Hopkins, so celebrating World Art Day is a great way to call attention to art in an environment where it’s not everyone’s priority.” World Art Day has given many the opportunity to put focus on a subject which can be failed to recognize.
The Art Gallery at Hopkins helps provide a shift in focus from STEM onto the arts and one of the ways a Hopkins Student can celebrate World Art Day is by acknowledging the talent in our own student body. Smith remarked, “ When you go to an art gallery [..] you can go through the intellectual exercise of reasoning about the compositional choices and the execution of the work, appreciating the fact that the entirety of what you’re seeing was made by human hands.” Alix Rawald ’24, shared how viewing her own art- work in the Hopkins gallery affected her: “It was really nice to be recognized for my work, but I think I liked seeing other people’s work even more... [I] like see- ing the same assignment done in different ways.” While visiting famed art galleries is an unique and memorable experience, the art gallery at Hopkins provides similar curation at a smaller scale. Viewing a classmate’s creations can be an inspiring way to view our community in a fresh light and an additional way to appreciate art on World Art Day.
International Art Day acknowledges how big of a role art plays in our lives. Smith explained, “We are surrounded by expressions of creativity like posters, fashion, architecture, and even the mundane objects we use every day. These pieces of art, great and small, can help influence our mood, they can tell a story, and give us identity.” This impact that art has on the world is only one of the reasons that having a day to celebrate and acknowledge why it is so important. Smith goes on to say, “The importance of World Art Day is to be conscious of and reflect on the role art plays in our lives, and to celebrate the brilliant individuals who make their vision of the world a reality for us all to enjoy.”