Arts (Visual)

"The arts are powerful forms of personal, social, and cultural expression. They are unique“ways of knowing” that enable individuals and groups to create ideas and images that reflect, communicate, and change their views of the world. The arts stimulate imagination, thinking, and understanding. They challenge our perceptions, uplift and entertain us, and enrich our emotional and spiritual lives. As expressions of culture, the arts pass on and renew our heritage and traditions and help to shape our sense of identity.

All art works are made, used, interpreted, and valued within social and cultural contexts and may be regarded as texts or commentaries that reflect history, tradition, and innovation. In Aotearoa New Zealand, toi Màori, the arts of the Màori, are integral to our sense of a distinctive, evolving national identity. European, Pacific, Asian, American, Indian, and African arts have progressively become part of the New Zealand cultural tapestry. Our cultural heritage now includes such traditional art forms as Celtic dancing and design, colonial architecture, orchestral and choral music, tapa and tìvaevae, raku and earth-fired pottery, puppetry, dragon dances, plays, musical theatre, and landscape painting. New Zealand artists often draw on and combine such art forms, along with traditional Màori forms such as poi, whare whakairo, and mòteatea, to create distinctive, contemporary art works.

The arts enable people to participate in collaborative and individual pursuits that contribute to community and personal identity. New Zealanders are involved in many art forms and arts-related fields of employment. For example, they are painters, dancers, musicians, actors, writers, weavers, designers, composers, choreographers, architects, film-makers, educators, historians, curators, producers, therapists, and technicians.

Many people also pursue careers outside the arts using analytical, creative, co-operative, entrepreneurial, and problem-solving skills that have been enhanced through learning in the arts" (The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum)