Visual Artists Offer Us a Window on Humanity and Culture

Updated on October 13, 2023 by Meg

Visual Arts

Visual Artists Reveal Backstories of Their Inspiration and Creative Works

What does culture encompass? It's an extensive and delicately woven idea that involves various diverse exhibitions. Certainly, any exhaustive definition of culture would be incomplete without recognizing visual arts.

Visual Art is a cultural universal. What do we mean by "cultural universals"? These are elements of society that every culture has. How they are carried out or their role in a given community in different cultures may vary--but we all are very familiar with these behaviors or ways of life as being part of the human condition. There are many more cultural universals, but these are the ones we explore here at PAC.

Humans process information better visually than by any other means. With 90% of the data transmitted to the human brain being visual, it's 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 City Hall to the 2nd century Buddhist paintings adorning the walls the Ajanta Caves in India, or the community-created murals of Las Hermanas Mirabal in the Dominican Republic, or the overall vibe of San Miguel de Allende, visual arts show us a dimension of a culture’s people.