by Lynn Farrand

What if art has a purpose that can be defined and discussed in plain terms? The idea that one does not understand or appreciate an art exhibition, can lead to the natural assumption that somehow you must be lacking knowledge or a capacity for feeling, but this is not necessarily true. What is lacking may well be the way in which the art is taught, sold or presented by the art institutions. 

Authors deBotton and Armstrong propose that art is a therapeutic medium that can help guide, exhort and console its viewers, enabling them to become better versions of themselves.  Their theory is that art has a purpose and it is important to understand what that is, in order to appreciate the art. They define seven common psychological frailties that art is able to convincingly help viewers with:  remembering, hope, rebalancing, self-understanding, growth and appreciation.

What then, are the consequences of holding onto a therapeutic vision of art? I can’t think of one negative one! Art offers assistance with our human frailties and in doing so art has a purpose for the viewer that can educate, elevate and heal.

That power is available to all visitors to CMATO. We invite you to enter into our exhibition and ask you to consider the many possibilities surrounding the Power of Art.