Art Madrid'24 – WHY SHOULD WE EDUCATE IN ART AND CULTURE?

Even today, finishing the second decade of the 21st century, the need to educate in art and culture is still an open topic of debate. It is commonly thought that the culture, to whose creation we all contribute, arises by spontaneous generation and does not need maintenance or attention. But on the contrary, culture as a social phenomenon, and art, as one of its particular tangible manifestations, requires the contribution of all. It only takes true meaning when there is a conscious exchange between the historical and identity legacy that culture transmits and the new uses and meanings of value that modern societies attribute to it. Well understood, culture does not need many resources to develop, since, as a social phenomenon, it will emerge and grow wherever there are individuals. But what it is necessary to do is "educate" in the importance and value that culture has per se, because without this educational work there is a destruction of the past, a depreciation of the heritage created over centuries and a loss of the close referents which give meaning to our contemporary society.

Image from Educathyssen

Far from what one might think, educating in art and culture is much more than learning history and artistic techniques. Art is an expression that emerges in a specific context, and, as such, transmits a large part of the elements that determine the culture of that particular time and place. It would be difficult to think that the Renaissance creators reflected in their works the concern for climate change, as they now do, or that the new authors capture with the same zeal religious scenes that were the favourite leitmotiv of the painting of yore. For this reason, to accommodate art and culture in the classroom is to channel a collective knowledge developed over the centuries that constitutes the best vestiges of our identity as individuals belonging to a particular context.

Unesco has pointed out that the mastery of culture and the arts is fundamental for the development of people. For this same reason, it encourages designing educational programs that incorporate these branches of knowledge. The benefits are diverse: education in art fosters alternative thinking and the search for creative solutions to problems, favours qualities such as tolerance and sensitivity, helps diversity to be appreciated and to open an intercultural dialogue, as well as developing other intellectual and creative abilities of the individual.

«Each child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we have grown up»

Pablo Picasso

Why is art still seen as something reserved for a few? In the same way that other disciplines equally necessary for development, such as sports activities, associated with collaborative values ​​and psychomotricity, art and culture, require the same attention. In recent years, several voices have highlighted the benefits associated with training in art from early ages. More than a matter of convenience, it is, in reality, an essential content for the development that will go along the individual in different stages of life. Concepts so demanded in the modern business world as creativity, imagination or innovation, are based on stimuli taught from childhood. Nowadays, intelligence and the use of qualities are not limited exclusively to being proficient with language and mathematics. The promotion of alternative thinking and the solution of ingenious problems, with their well-known applications in the world of entrepreneurship, are intimately associated with art training.

Image from educathyssen

Several studies suggest a change of approach when incorporating arts into education. The benefits are innumerable and alter the preconceived and inherited schemes even today on the permanent search for accuracy in the results, typical of subjects such as mathematics. The unpredictable essence of artistic creation helps to develop critical thinking and generate alternative ways of reasoning. The ideas of right and wrong are blurred, and there is room for means of expression that favour new structures of logical discourse. There is no single form of intelligence, and it is clear that the integration of art and culture in the learning process is necessary. Hopefully, this gradual awareness will translate into the incorporation of new tools and educational resources from childhood. It is only possible to love and understand what is known.

 

“I paint in a completely free way, I don't have a plan, it's chaotic, but everything has a reason. I don't prepare anything before I start painting, what I paint is what I feel or try to communicate at that moment, so it changes a lot (from one work to another)”.

Chão limpo e o resto. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

Cultura Inquieta once again joins the experience of discovering and celebrating creative talent within the broad spectrum of artistic expressions present at Art Madrid'24. As a supporter of culture and contemporary art, its commitment to promoting and supporting emerging artists is reflected in a special initiative in this edition: highlighting and supporting the work of the REVELATION ARTIST of the 19th edition.

Só durmo na minha almofada. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

In this context, Ana Malta emerges into the contemporary art scene with a fresh voice and her own visual aesthetic. Born in Lisbon in 1996, Malta is a talented visual artist and freelance designer who has captivated the public with her distinctive approach and bold exploration of the beauty of everyday spaces through her investigations of color.

Her studies in Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, as well as her Master's Degree in Creative Industries Management at the Catholic University of Portugal in Porto, have provided a solid foundation for her artistic practice. Currently, she also collaborates in the Communication and Production Office of Carpintarias de São Lázaro - Centro Cultural e Galeria Belo-Galsterer, showing her commitment to the cultural fabric of her community. She is also part of the artistic collective VÊS.TRÊS.

Ana Malta has been recognized in several platforms and media, including the 14th Edition of QUADRANTE, Melancia Mag and the SCROLL program of the RTP2 channel. Her participation in the book (AS)ARTISTAS - Ensaio Gráfico sobre Histórias e Práticas Artísticas no Feminino and in the April 21st Edition of Nova Awareness Club underlines her impact and relevance in the contemporary art scene.

Só um é que ganha. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

Ana Malta's work is characterized by her exploration of color, patterns, composition, and texture. These elements are not only vehicles of her plastic and visual expression, but also embody an intimate dialogue between aesthetic restlessness and the transformation of error into opportunity.

It is exciting to see Ana Malta make her debut at Art Madrid'24, represented by Galeria São Mamede (STAND B3). Her presence promises to further enrich the artistic experience of the event, inviting the public to approach the visually captivating and conceptually stimulating universe that the artist creates to narrate the chaos she rearranges in shapes and colors.

Não fico pendurada. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

In a world in constant movement, Ana Malta reminds us of the importance of experimentation and continuous exploration in the search for authentic and sincere artistic expression.

Her work has been REVEALED to us in the 19th edition of ART MADRID, thanks to the precise point of view of CULTURA INQUIETA as a testimony of the transforming power of art. In her hands, the entropy of forms brings us the possible memory of an endless summer; the luminosity of the sun becomes the caress of everyday life; we may even be surprised by the formula of happiness turned into a companion animal.

Ana Malta's pieces combines the restlessness of a space that appears to be in a state of chaos with the delicate synesthesia of vibrating at the velocity of light, nuances, lines and colors in her paintings.