24 Jun 2011

Cultivating a love of the arts

Only through art can we get outside of ourselves and know another's view of the universe which is not the same as ours and see landscapes which would otherwise have remained unknown to us like the landscapes of the moon. Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists...And many centuries after their core, whether we call it Rembrandt or Vermeer, is extinguished, they continue to send us their special rays.

The Maxims of Marcel Proust 1948
It has been a fine couple of weeks of arts appreciation in our family: Elegy at The Australian Ballet; Bell Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing; The 20th Century Gallery at the Bendigo Art Gallery with its beautiful Cossington-Smith paintings and the work of John Olsen and Arthur Boyd.

This weekend we're off to see The Australian Ballet again - this time performing the exquisitely divine The Merry Widow. Jemimah is thrilled and very excited. In fact, we all are.

It might seem extravagant to some, but nurturing Jemimah's appreciationof both performing and visual arts is a normal part of life chez nous. It happens naturally and without much planning, and we have been including our daughter in our performing arts forays since she was five or six years old.

What about you? Are you cultivating a love of the arts in your kids? Do you think it is important?

Why or why not? I'm interested in your opinions on this one...


  1. That's really great! I wish we could do more artsy things but it comes down to one small thing called 'money' that sometimes prevents us but we try to do the best we can with what we have:)

  2. I quite agree. The Ballet is the only thing we subscribe to - and even that we might need to reconsider post floods. The others are one off special events. I like that they are special occasions though. It makes us appreciate them more. Fortunately the Art Gallery is free, and you can often get reasonably priced tickets to smaller production houses. It doesn't always need to be a National company every time.

  3. The Arts are expensive; that's the biggest drawback. Having a performer I am forced to make more of an effort but certain things are just out of our price range. I do think it is important for the soul so we always try.

  4. Oh, I definitely think it is worth it if you can afford it. It also depends on living in a place where there are plays and so forth. We never seem to have much going on in our city.

  5. We definitely cultivate an appreciation - and participation - in the arts in our family.

    I see the arts as simply a way to communicate: to spread ideas, ask questions, share knowledge, tell a story, connect people with each other, experience the wonders of this world, honor Creation.

    Some things are too expensive for us, but I really don't think cost needs to be a detriment to having an art-filled life as the expensive things don't define what art is. Noticing art all around us...and joining in by making art ourselves...that's what's important to me.

    Wonderful topic - I'd love to hear more and more about how you incorporate art into your lives and WHY.

  6. Personally, I've always wondered why ballet and opera were not part of Amblesideonline. I tried to read on Opera story and one ballet story each term and play the selections from the music--even if it was just once. Funny, but they just HAD to tell me when they found an Opera ringtone!! Two nice books for this are: "Sing Me a Story" from the Metropolitan Opera and "Dance Me a Story" We also used to have the cd "World's Very Best Opera for Kids"--I'd put it or the Bible on when the car got to stressful! [Later I added the lingua angelica cd]. Another decent [not as nice as the others]is the D/K Read & Listen: Illustrated Book of Ballet Stories. Even if it's too expensive to go and see a performance there are great clips on youtube and pbs.org

    Great post Jeanne! Keep at it!!

  7. I took Lucy and her sisters to The Nutcracker last year. We would love to do more but it's a bit too expensive for us. However we attend our local Arts ( they even have ballet ) offerings as they are free or at least cheap.
    We also visit as many art exhibitions as I think we will enjoy. We loved the Art Deco and Australian Impressionists from a few years ago. Recently we saw the Von Guerard exhibition at the Ian Potter.
    I particularly enjoyed his sketches and notebooks.

  8. I'm looking forward to taking my daughter to the ballet one day. We haven't done anything very fine artsy yet, but we go along to the family-friendly free orchestra performances when we can. (Geelong had one earlier this year and there's always a few at the Myer music bowl).
    We have friends in the arts - you would have seen/heard one last night (the oboeist)!


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...