What is the role of art in society?
This is a very good question. It is important to keep in mind that there will not be one right answer but only opinions. With that stated, here are my thoughts on the role of art in society. First, on the most basic level, art seeks to please people with beauty. In a broken world, sometimes it is important to allow people to realize that there is still beauty. Hence, art can function to refresh people and remind people of better things or transcendent realities.
Second, on a more deeper level, art is able to express important values within that society to people in ways that are memorable. In this way, art can be used to reinforce values and even bring people together. For instance, artwork can commemorate great accomplishments, such as military victory as in World War II.
Third, art in society can also be used to challenge people. For example, a thought provoking piece of art can call into question the establishment or some other cherished ideal. This would be a more subversive use of art. In the end, art has many different functions in society.
Art is a from of communication that is almost limitless. Unlike verbal communication which faces obstacles such as language barriers and time restraints, art can traverse time, culture, social class, etc. Art speaks to humans as expressions from one human to another. It can be subjective as beauty/value is subjective.
Since the earliest civilisations, art had become an integral part of society. Back then, people were not allowed to express their opinion and insights, especially about the things that were controversial in society. Thus, some opt to express their beliefs through works of art. Artists and artisans, who existed in a period where citizens were given limited freedom of expression, had successfully communicated their thoughts via paintings, sculptures, songs, and other art forms.
Today, art continues to play a major role in society. Until now, art still provokes awareness as contemporary artists use different media in order to share to everyone all the prevalent and pressing concerns plaguing society. Artworks are open to different interpretations by its viewers, and although their message appears vague, they remain able to communicate something to the audience.