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The Student News Site of Brophy College Preparatory

Brophy Roundup

The Student News Site of Brophy College Preparatory

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The impact of art on mental wellness

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Photos by Alex Gross ’24


The idea of art is a phenomenon that has existed as long as humans have, and it has undeniably played an essential role in the development of mankind. Art exists as a manifestation of the shared human experience, documenting emotions such as pain, pride, loss and elation.

For this reason, art holds a value in the lives of everyone. Expression is universal, and it shows itself in the way people dress, the music they listen to, and even the movies that they watch. 

“The idea that you have to be an artist to enjoy or understand talking about art – those are two completely different things. And both things, by the way, are innately human,” said Ms. Abbey Withey.

Mental wellness means something different for everyone, and therefore art also has a uniquely different resonance for each individual. A community mural or a park statue may seem insignificant in nature, but they hold an intangible value, impacting the lives of everyone who takes a chance to admire the work and develop a personal connection with it. 

Ms. Withey, who worked as a professional muralist before coming to Brophy, aims to “create something that people enjoy being around and that they connect with in some way” with her art.

Speaking on the universality of artwork, Ms. Withey said, “the experience of creation is a very human thing, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be art. We as humans just enjoy fabrication of something that makes us feel accomplished.”

But even with its universal nature, art’s value doesn’t seem to be widely accepted. 

“If you add the art stuff onto it, a lot of people think of art at this superfluous thing in life, and I think a lot of people operate in that space until inevitably, something bad happens, and when something bad happens, you’re in a place of asking yourself: ‘has anyone ever felt this bad before?’ So you go searching for evidence that other people have lived through it, that people have lived the same human experience, and in that sense art is not a luxury, art is necessary. It’s the very thing that makes us feel that we’re OK and makes us feel alive,” Ms. Withey said. 

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Alex Gross, Online Managing Editor
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