A Heart Falls in the Woods

“Art is Literacy of the heart”—Elliot Eisner

The heart speaks through art as any artist can attest but do others always hear?  Does it matter as long as the heart speaks?  Artists are driven to continue to speak whether anyone is listening or not.  Does it matter to the artist whether or not his/her heart is heard?  Is the point to give voice to the heart and not worry about whom, if anyone, is listening? No.

As long as an artist can make art, that is vital.  However, when you have worked so hard to give the heart a voice, it becomes important to follow through and also make a way for that voice to be heard.  The art is not complete until its voice has been heard.  Frequently, for whatever reason, we neglect this part of the art equation.  The heart is speaking.  We must see that it gets heard.

Photographer Tom Kostas states, “Art and poetry have revealed more to me than any other field of study I have encountered, including philosophy, in my life.”  What is revealed from the heart through art is important to pass on, to share.

Helping the heart get heard can be difficult for some artists, especially if introverted.  Perhaps that makes it even more important to find a way to get heard.  Does the heart break if we don’t carry the work all the way through to the end result of being heard?  Art made in isolation and not put out for others to experience is like the tree that falls in the woods.  Does it make a sound if no one is listening?  Thoughts anyone??

Hear more from Dr. Elliot Eisner:


Author: MaryGwyn

Artist-Art Educator-Art in Healthcare

6 thoughts on “A Heart Falls in the Woods”

  1. I know I would always create even if I knew no one would ever see or read it. It’s vital to my mental and emotional health. However, I know I would not spend as much time and energy trying to perfect my skills. It’s too dang hard if no one’s going to give you any validation.

    For me, “ars gratia artis” doesn’t hold out. Sadly enough.

      1. True! Thank you for your thoughtful comments! You have given me some food for thought. I feel sometimes that my artworks are my children and I must shield them from the world but at the same time want the world to approve of them.

  2. Long ago, when I was youthful (I am now old and youthless) I played in a rock group. We were once booked to play – and no one turned up. So we played the whole evening (for no fee), for just the organiser and his girlfriend. For us, at that time, the performance was more important than the appreciation.

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