The Power of a Post-it

Comparison of how teachers (left) and visitors to our Creative Aging Reception (right) descibe art. Photos: Rachel Goldberg

What is art? An expression of human creativity…a window on the soul…a means to communicate an ideal?

My colleague Rachel Goldberg recently asked some of the teachers from the museum’s partner schools to write the answer this question on a post-it note as seen in the illustration above left. They described art as “anything you want it to be,” “expression,” “creativity,” “communication,” “thinking,” and “untrained magicians weaving tapestries of emotions.”

Inspired by Rachel’s project, we asked visitors to the Creative Aging reception to describe how they understand art (above right). While some of the answers like “expression,” and “creativity,” aligned with the teachers, I found it fascinating how many of these individuals connect art with well-being. They defined art as “hope,” “healing,” “to cure illness,” “happiness,” and “a simple gift.”

This project reminded me a lot of one I saw this summer in Barcelona. Then and now I am astounded by the power a simple post-it note can have to collect our thoughts and feelings.

What is art to you? If you’re feeling inspired, use the comments below to share your thoughts (sorry we can’t use post-it notes)!