Artists create in face of tragedy

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Michael Landolfi

Whether they be bombings, earthquakes, mass shootings or hurricanes, large-scale tragedies are inescapable in the present day. This awareness can cause intense stress in people, whether they’re personally affected or they simply hear about these events on the news. Every time a tragedy is reported, it brings with it sensational headlines, incensed political debates and endless blame games. With this pattern in dealing with tragedies, people may not know where to turn.

Many would argue that the best way to handle tragedies is through art. Be it tributes to those lost, art therapy sessions or simply artists reacting to these events, these solutions have been popular for quite some time; it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it’s rooted in the common idea that the best art comes from pain.

“Artists are the observers of our culture,” says Brooke Seidelmann, co-director of ths 9/11 Arts Project.

Seidelmann’s  project and gallery is  a collaboration between numerous collections to hold events such as art and literature displays, galleries, concerts, movie showings and more, according to the Washington Post. The art shown is all related to both the grief felt after 9/11 as well as the nation’s aftermath of paranoia and security.

While the aforementioned project is meant as a way to help healing on a large scale, that’s not to say that art can’t help heal on smaller scales either.

“I think that art is a valuable way to help people heal and to let them know that what they are feeling doesn’t isolate them, because other people feel that too,” said senior Kyle Galvin of Middletown. Galvin also voiced his support of art projects such as public memorials and charity singles.

“I have personally used art to portray emotions whether negative or positive and I believe my best work comes from a passionate background,” said sophomore Jill Tracy of Belmar. Tracy said art can also be used to represent one’s emotions and send a message to others.

It’s entirely possible that humanity will never grasp the full scope of creative expression, and how it relates to suffering. But one thing shown is that sculptures, paintings, songs, books and more continually demonstrate their use as a reaction to the world. The simple act of expressing  oneself  helps many to heal on levels ranging from personal to worldwide, and will likely continue to do so for a long time.

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