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Through globalization western culture has changed in art/expressive cultures. Expressive culture/art has played a part in the helping professions since ancient times. As early as 500 BC, the Egyptians utilized concerts and dance in the treatment of the mentally ill. Likewise, the Greeks used drama as a way of assisting the disturbed in purging their repressed emotions. The Hebrews relied on music, and other arts, in restoring and promoting mental health too, the most famous example being David who played his harp to soothe a distraught King Saul.
Literature was seen by the Romans as a specific way of helping too. Lucretius, Roman poet and the author of the philosophical epic De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of the Universe), a comprehensive exposition of the Epicurean world-view, thought poetry could disperse the 'terrors of the soul'. In recent times, the expressive arts consist of verbal and nonverbal ways of representing feelings, there has been renewed interest in the use of the arts especially art forms that are considered 'expressive.' Through concrete and abstract verbal and nonverbal art forms that inspire, direct, and heal. For example the guerrilla girls, allowing individuals options in conveying their emotions their arts are used in helping and enabling themselves in a humorous way to make informed decisions and versatility in what they believe in, Feminism. And what about, Andres Serrano, of Piss Christ, his fame which according to web site, "evoked laughter and sounds of disgust," Piss Christ, an image of a crucifix immersed in urine, received applause in European churches and by the art community.
But the piece was attacked by two senators and sparked a controversy about federal funding of artwork. Nonverbal way of using urine, which his intention was to use the yellow color of the urine as a symbolization of waste and necessity, expressing that the Christ is humanized. Expressive arts usually take the form of a unique creation, such as a painting. However, they may appear rather mundane as well. For example, Pedro Rafael is distinguished by the "thoughtfulness that pervades all aspects of his work, ranging from the painstaking choice of subject matter to the meticulous application of paint." Rafael had his own change of expressive art by the use of incorporating new ideas and tastes, whom, if he had the desire or opportunity could have inspired many when he took a job as a bilingual educator. In my opinion his art would have been an excellent tool to use in teaching since students are usually interesting participants. Rafael clearly had in mind what colors go, where and how to mix them.
A remarkable feature of his painting is the way he proceeds, starting at an upper corner of the canvas, and ending his painting with images, as though he were unrolling an oriental rug. Generally, verbal and nonverbal arts complement each other and there is considerable integration of them in many artistic expressions. A good example of art that complimented each other was of the head hunters because after the banning of head hunting in various cultures it meant that body decoration, weapon decoration and other relative expressive activities were abandoned. Secondly, the production of a play such as the Chinese which usually requires verbalization, directed movement, music, and visual affects such as scenery and costumes and in their case puppets. As puppets, and drama are effective in modeling and reinforcing appropriate pro-social behaviors. Thus, the expressive arts may be utilized by themselves or combined, such as according to Millers' Cultural Anthropology, African musical styles, which have transformed the American musical scene since the days of slavery... In conclusion, the common denominator they share is the utilization of silent insight and natural abilities.
The most well known verbal arts are drama and literature, while the best known nonverbal arts are music, dance/movement, imagery, and visual expression such as drawing, painting or sculpting. Today, while researching some current events, I found interestingly enough that because expressive art was known as the ancient wisdom of the past. How the use of the arts and healing is being rediscovered. Today, expressive arts is growing but more in counseling, as it is becoming better known and more utilized in effectively helping many clients in counseling prevent and resolve problems while enriching the lives of all involved and making the change process in counseling more noticeable. Whether in the form of music, drawing, movement, writing, or acting, the arts have been found to play a vital role in counseling.
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