World Visionaries • Spiritual Practices
Humans process information better visually than by any other means. With 90% of the data transmitted to the human brain being visual, its not surprising that the visual arts is such a diverse and far-reaching mode of cultural transmission. Documenting a community's values and history, inciting social change through protest, creating cohesion and engagement with collaborative endeavors, inspiring spiritual illumination and transcendence with divine visions, evoking patriotism with nationalistic messages, or simply entertaining or uplifting with witty observations or comic spoofs are among the many ways the visual arts interpret society for us. A culture can become strongly identified with a particular style of visual art--or for being a society in which artistic risk-taking flourishes. From the nationalistic public art of Oslo's City Hall, to the 2nd century Buddhist paintings adorning the walls the Ajanta Caves in India, or the community-created murals of Hermans Mirabel in the Dominican Republic, the visual arts show us a dimension of a culture's people.