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Art as a Universal Language

"Art is a universal language, and through it each nation makes its own unique contribution to the culture of mankind." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

We at SVP often refer to this mindset as a way to promote the arts, the simultaneous way art can be "read" by anyone, but also has its own unique perspectives. In this

day and age, with all that is happening in society, we are going to be stressing the second aspect of this quote more in-depth in the coming year.

In order to create awareness about the different dialects we all speak as artists in San Jose and the world, the School of Visual Philosophy is starting a program called the "Dialects of Art". We are gathering experts in their cultural dialects to teach courses both online and virtually in a range of artistic subject matter and media to emphasize the symbols, colors, and other formal elements we use to express our particular heritage.

This is not purely to educate or make our community aware of the WAYS we all speak, but to better understand our community we are all a part of, to approach any work of art from multiple perspectives- giving everyone the ability to step into the shoes of another, to understand on a deep level what it means to be human in this time and place.

“Art is a meta-language, with the help of which people try to communicate with one another; to impart information about themselves and assimilate the experience of others. Again, this has not to do with practical advantage but with realizing the idea of love, the meaning of which is in sacrifice: the very antithesis of pragmatism. I simply cannot believe that an artist can ever work only for the sake of 'self-expression.' Self-expression is meaningless unless it meets with a response. For the sake of creating a spiritual bond with others it can only be an agonizing process, one that involves no practical gain: ultimately it is an act of sacrifice. But surely it cannot be worth the effort merely for the sake of hearing one's own echo?”

Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

This will not be an easy task. These classes are not designed to be "palatable" in the sense that everyone will enjoy taking them. But they are necessary to creating art in a global community. They are intended to spark conversations, to spark questions and ponderings that will last one's whole life. If we do not start now, it may be too late to pre-empt the consequences that misunderstanding and prejudice have already started.

We will be raising funds for this program at our Fall Art Auction Benefit November 7. More information will be available soon, and if you want to become a partner sooner than later, click the link here to donate to this much needed program!

"There are two distinct languages. There is the verbal, which separates people...and there is the visual that is understood by everybody" - Yaacov Agam

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