16 Ways Children Benefit From A Visual Art Education

Valerie Kent, BFA, BEd, MFA, OCT, a professional artist, journalist, educator and art adjudicator who has recently relocated to a private studio in Cavan.  Kent’s work is known internationally and her articles have appeared in art publications including Watercolour Gazette and she is a Canadian Regional Editor of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine. She is also a frequent guest speaker and conducts workshops at schools, art societies and art colleges throughout Ontario.   Her plans for her new location include a gallery where she will offer her own artwork and that of local artists, and a studio where she will conduct workshops and art classes for local audiences.   She is also Director of Education for Galerie Q and looks forward to becoming part of our active local art community.  Photo: Karen Graham.

Millbrook Times Art Columnist, Valerie Kent


  1. Something we do not often think about is that everything in this world that is people-made has been designed by a human being: tables, skyscrapers, rockets.
  2. Even nature is often the palette for our designs: magnificent gardens, diversion of rivers, farmer’s fields, are designed by the artistry of man or woman.
  3. Art and design are instrumental in the invention of all the modern ingenious inventions: laser surgery, video games, etc.
  4. Many of the world’s most sophisticated designs are the work of very young people.
  5. The creativity that goes into the invention and making of products are directly related to art and design.
  6. A fine art education adds greatly to a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem by goal making, resolving problems, use of imagination, attention to craftsmanship and cooperating with others.
  7. School performance and success is enhanced because fine art education teaches children self-discipline, as well as decision making.
  8. Art is essential for children so they can be exposed to using their minds to invent and their imaginations to create, manipulate, change and challenge.
  9. For our planet to survive minds must be elastic, be able to stretch and move forward with new ideas that are part of critical thinking, inherent in art education.
  10. Children in art must be able to make decisions, to acquire special acuity and respect the idea that there is more than one way to move ahead with an idea.
  11. “If I can think it, I can create it.” can become a mantra for a child as he or she finds the perfect avenues to approach a new task.
  12. When stressed, children and adults can turn to viewing and doing visual arts to excise sorrows, work out problems or confirm joys.
  13. Visual arts has been researched and found to be a look into the soul and can also be used as a valuable starting point for counselling.
  14. Researched has also determined that what has been learned in the visual art during a lifetime becomes hardwired in the brain and therefore visual arts can be done from a very young age to advanced ages.
  15. Enrolling your child in visual arts programs is not just a way to keep them happy for a few hours: it is not only to have fun and enjoy the companionship of other children, but it builds social skills, cooperation with others, individualism, and self-expression.
  16. The experiences of children who are involved in the visual arts fosters their knowledge that problems are solvable, that achievements are possible, that they can create something truly unique and special and this knowing stays with the child for a lifetime.
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