Power of the Arts

This past winter over the period of two days (one weekend to be exact) – I immersed myself in the diversity of the arts and received a boost of inspiration taking in music, literary and visual arts related events.

I attended the World Premiere of The Mozart Effect performed by the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in the stunningly beautiful Burlington Centre for the Performing Arts. The music was exquisite, truly a symphony for the senses. They based the performance on the work of music teacher and visionary Don Campbell (The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit). Two hours flew by while listening to the engaging and invigorating compositions. The infused tranquility and serenity was palpable. My stress and tension loosened and lifted with the sound of each note floating through the air. It must have been the dopamine (feel good hormone) from the music. McGill University Neuroscientist, Daniel J. Levitin talks about how music has this effect on our brain in his book “This is Your Brain On Music” a groundbreaking look at the union of art and science. At the end of the performance the audience left the auditorium in silence and awe.

In addition, I attended a launch in Mississauga of In Our Words, an independent publishers’ newest book “The Literary Connection Volume IV An Anthology of Poems and Stories–Then and Now”. Listening to the authors reciting their work opened a window for reflection inviting those in attendance to think differently. The authors’ perceptions, feelings and experiences about their world were eloquently shared. The creative expressions of poetry and short stories were compelling and stirring, providing comfort and hope. In conversation the writers acknowledged that we all write to normalize our experience of our lives creating an understanding of what we have in common. Throughout the afternoon, their words connected us to each other, our shared humanity, helping to dispel our sense of isolation. Driving home from the event, I felt a strong sense of community and oneness with my fellow writers.

The final component of my art immersion experience was the closing reception celebration for the Joshua Creek Heritage Arts Centre “Art from the Heart” exhibit in Oakville featuring artists with special needs. The walls of the gallery were filled with vivid uplifting artwork. As I mingled with the artists and guests, the artwork came alive each time an artist explained the inspiration behind their work. Their eyes would light up with pure joy and I could feel their joy in creating the piece, captured in perpetuity on the canvas. Wrapping up my weekend of art exploration I truly felt engulfed by the power of the arts, empowered and armed with new perspectives not only about art but also about the life and experiences it represents.

There is without a doubt a vibrant transformative energy that resonates within us and turns up the volume and colour of our lives when we are exposed to music, literature and visual art. Art creates a bridge opening up the space for conversations that create connections. This is why art has the power to uplift us and motivate us. The imagination of musicians, writers or visual artists touches us. Through creative expression, we can see a part of ourselves we are not able to give voice. This helps us to validate our shared humanity. Art is how we make sense of our world and express ourselves.

We may not be Mozart, Hemmingway or Picasso but sharing our creativity through the music we compose, the words we write and art gives us the power to spark a flame of curiosity and wonder for others. What we create creates us.

Taking in the arts can provide us with a respite from our daily routines. We are transported into a place where we can float away inside a melody; give food for thought on some tough current world issues through cleverly crafted written stories, poetry/prose, or distracted from it all as we blend in with the colours and textures on a canvas, creating a visual vacation into delight.

Whether or not you are a musician, writer or artist, take time to stroll through an art gallery, listen to some music, read a book and unleash your own creativity.

Susan Ksiezopolski

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