Meanwhile, here is one statement that I came across that I thought was very interesting and important reading:
I would like to address the wholesale elimination or drastic cutting back of art in schools. I have many years of experience teaching and in administration and this has become a crisis particularly in the state of Oregon where the economy has been far worse and there are more hungry people here than in other areas of the country. Art has been viewed as nonessential and has been cut drastically. The problem is this: some children and adults have talent in art only because they are primarily visual learners and are not gifted in other academic areas. We have told them to ignore visual information. If we eliminate those art programs, we are speaking to a large population of future citizens and telling them that they have no place to shine in our most important systems and that if they shine anyway in visual areas like art that are not covered, we will not value that effort because it is outside the system. That is the same as telling all of us that we should go through our days ignoring our senses, with endless days of extreme frustration, extreme difficulty and rare success doing things we do not enjoy, with no hope the situation will ever change. If art is eliminated, there is no appreciation of good art -- we have lowered the bar and allowed the acceptance of mediocrity in search of any visual stimulation at all. If art is not seen as necessary, it is not included. Under these circumstances, it can easily be ignored and whole segments of our population are excluded. Art was an integral part of living in caves before the advent of our more advanced civilized human society. Ask this: have we suddenly decided to quit our humanity?
--Zel Brook, artist, Corvallis, Oregon