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The Importance of Visual Arts at Viterbo
Gretchen Cortez, Arts and Entertainment Editor • March 7, 2024

The Importance of Visual Arts at Viterbo

In the ancient halls and serene courtyards of Viterbo University, the visual arts serve as more than decorations; they pulsate with the heartbeat of creativity, expression, and cultural significance. From the wide variety of student exhibitions to the interesting installations of visiting artists, the visual arts at Viterbo embody the spirit of innovation and inspiration.  


The importance of visual arts encompasses a broad spectrum of cultural, social, educational, and personal significance. Visual arts have played a significant role at Viterbo for many years. Viterbo offers many educational opportunities in the visual arts. Minors such as traditional studio art, graphic design, new media, and an art education major are offered. Students in these programs have the opportunity to exhibit and publish their work in the third-floor gallery in the Fine Arts Center. With the help of visual arts, it is important for artists to be strong in their community and gain experience in and out of the studio before graduation.  


Art professor, Sherri Lisota, was asked what she thinks is the most important aspect of visual arts and she responded, “I would say the first thing would be having the favorable conditions for making art, like an environment where art is allowed, honored, supported. And things are just there that encourage and support making art. I think otherwise it just doesn’t get made.”  


Art instructor, Kira Peters, responded to the same question as well: “Yes, having the accessibility to it. And we talk a lot about play-based approaches to learning and part of that is having the materials available in ways that you don’t have to go searching hard to find and I guess, the options are limitless.” Viterbo offers many studio spaces where students can create art and find endless materials in a quiet environment.  


The art programs at Viterbo prepare students for a wide range of professions in the arts. Art plays an important role in learning. Amanda Martin, elementary school music teacher; M.A.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction says, “Art provides numerous benefits to students. It is actually quite astonishing to see the huge variety of skills that students can develop and gain simply participating in art. These skills are not only beneficial during childhood, but they are also equally as important into adulthood and useful in the real world. Let’s focus our attention on some of the important skills that students gain through participation in art.”  


When Peters was asked if she thinks art plays an important role in learning she responded, “Yeah, I think it plays a huge role in learning and thinking about it in ways of child and human development. You look at problem solving. Artists solve problems all the time and when you’re having a problem making art, you have to find ways to overcome it. It’s creative and you think outside the box. Also, there’s many different ways to approach learning and tasks so you are learning many ways to approach them. It is also huge socially and emotionally, in mental health and our mind, growth mindset, that kind of stuff.”  


Art has been a universal language since the beginning of time. According to the Canadian Bridge Academy, “Art has historically been seen as a universal language that transcends cultural, linguistic, and geographic limitations. It is a strong communication tool that can express ideas, feelings, and viewpoints in a way that people from many walks of life can understand and appreciate. From cave drawings to modern art, art has been a component of human expression for thousands of years and has played an important role in shaping communities and cultures.” Lisota also mentioned, “I’ve learned many times drawing, creating, or illustrating that it is the first form of language, right, so that’s how we learn to communicate, and it’s often called the universal language.”  


While art acts as a form of universal language, it is essential to keep it in education and focus on the importance of visual arts. Viterbo has strong pieces of visual arts throughout campus. Visual arts serve as more than beautiful decorations but serve as art full of self-expression, cultural appreciation, aesthetic appreciation, and communication.  

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About the Contributor
Gretchen Cortez
Gretchen Cortez, Arts and Entertainment Editor
I'm a 5th year senior from La Crosse Wisconsin. My major is Ethics, Culture, and Society with a focus in...
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