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Year of the Arts

by: Raymond Orbach   (December 2000)

The entire University of California, Riverside campus will celebrate the arts and the role they have in our lives in the year 2001. Though this upcoming “Year of the Arts” will provide a special focus, we celebrate the arts every day. They are that critical and that intertwined in our everyday lives.

Observed Emerson: “If eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being.” Arts create beautiful things: words, sounds and images. Arts challenge and involve the intellect. They give insight and perhaps even create a pathway to truth. We may as well say, “If minds were made for thinking, the arts are their own reason for being.”

UCR is at the forefront of artistic intellectual endeavor—pushing and wrenching the canon. A once-ethnocentric view based on western tradition has given way to a rich and inclusive mosaic representative of the entire world. New content is being carried by new media. The application of computer and other digital technology to aesthetics has brought forth a new canvas for expression and understanding.

Shortly after the first of the year, the Arts Building will open: a new home--a new stone for artists to whet what Professor Philip Brett refers to as “artistic skills” in this magazine’s essay.

I invite all to involve themselves in the arts at UCR, most especially during the Year of the Arts. They are alive, vibrant and reflective of the true quality and commitment of UCR. They touch both our minds and our hearts.

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