Why Is Art Important?

By Brad Bell

Many people enjoy creating or viewing art.  Thus, one basic question is, why is art important?  In this brief article, I provide three possible reasons why art is important.


Art can be considered important partly because it may foster happiness.   Art has an aesthetic quality that may bring joy to people who view art.  Also, art may foster happiness for people who create it because it may involve self-expression.  Self-expression can be viewed as expressing one’s own feelings and thoughts in art.

Perceived Meaning in Life

Art may also be important because it might foster greater perceived
meaning in life for people who create art.  Because creating art may involve self-expression, it may foster greater perceived meaning in life.  In my book, Finding Meaning (Bell, 2007), I stated, “Creative expression may also be meaningful because it allows us to express our ideas, interests, and values in our art, music, or writing” (p. 16).


Some types of art may be considered a form of communication. Important ideas may be expressed in a symbolic manner in the form of art.  For example, poetry can be considered one type of art, and a poem may reflect an underlying message.  There may be metaphors used to express certain ideas or feelings in a poem.   


Bell, B. (2007).  Finding Meaning (3rd ed.).  Portland, OR:  Blue Fox