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Art has the power to not only bring beauty and light into a world that can often be dark, but it also can make a difference by giving a voice to political movements and social change. World Art Day is here to show appreciation for and celebrate those who have made art contributions to the world, as well as the everyday artist that can be alive in all humans! 

History of World Art Day

The background of World Art Day can be traced back to its founding organization, the International Association of Art (IAA), which began in 1954. The IAA got its start as a partnership agency through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the purpose of learning about artistic freedoms as well as associating artists together with UNESCO’s work.

The first World Art Day was celebrated in 2012 when it was started by the IAA with the idea of promoting awareness about creative activity all over the globe. The idea for the day was approved by more than 150 artists as well as all of the national committees of the IAA organization. And because of this connection, World Art Day continues to be supported and promoted by UNESCO.

World Art Day seeks to raise awareness about and honor the contributions that various artists have made throughout the world, while promoting the importance of art in the lives of each and every human. In addition, the organizers of the day hope that it will pique interest about the importance of art, encouraging art education as a path toward inclusive and equitable education.

The planet is filled with amazing humans who have created and will continue to create all sorts of incredible works of art. World Art Day is here to showcase that art, show appreciation for it, and encourage others to get involved with creating it!

World Art Day Timeline


The Mona Lisa is painted 

Leonardo da Vinci is living in Florence, Italy, where he creates this famous painting that now hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.[1]


Rembrandt creates his first painting 

The famous portrait painter finishes his first paintings while he is still a teenager.[2]


Seurat finishes his important work 

The founder of pointillism, French artist Georges Seurat finishes his neo-impressionist work, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.[3]


Banksy begins graffiti art in England

The mysterious artist known as Banksy begins their anonymous graffiti art work starting in Bristol.[4]


Inaugural World Art Day is celebrated 

The International Association of Art establishes World Art Day to celebrate the diversity and the role that art plays in the lives of humans and culture.[5]

How to Celebrate World Art Day

Whether a novice or a professional, a creator or an appreciator, World Art Day offers all sorts of opportunities for people from all walks of life to join in and get involved in the celebration. Check out some of these ideas and activities to get started participating in honor of this day:

Visit an Art Museum

In honor and celebration of World Art Day, an excellent activity would be to visit a local museum that houses various pieces of art from local artists as well as from around the world. Paintings, sculptures, photography and so much more can be found in art museums, which often carry special short-term exhibits that travel and offer access to more people. And don’t forget to include the children in a visit to the art museum. The younger children are when they are exposed to fine art, the better!

Those who want to get serious about seeing some of the world’s finest art can do so by making a trip to one of the major art museums in the world where pieces by some of the most famous artists can be found. Book some travel tickets and check out one (or all!) of these high end art museums in celebration of World Art Day:

  • The Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Here it is possible to take a look at Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (yes, it’s small) and the ancient Venus de Milo.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, USA. Van Gogh’s Starry Night lives here along with Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
  • The National Gallery in London, United Kingdom. Get an up close look at Van Gogh’s Vase With Fifteen Sunflowers and Botticelli’s Mars and Venus
  • Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy. While this museum may not be as filled as others, people flock here to see Michelangelo’s statue of David.

Create Some Art

One of the best ways to get involved with World Art Day would be to get creative by making some art! Whether it’s a stick figure sketch or something resembling a Picasso, art is valuable no matter who makes it or how it is made. But in honor of this day, perhaps it would be a good idea to try out a new style of art, perhaps trying some watercolor painting, sculpting or charcoal drawings.

In fact, to improve those art skills, it might be fun to consider signing up for a class in a style of art that’s new. Pottery making, textile arts, or even photography can be fun ways to get involved with celebrating this important day, whether through a community college or a local artist who likes to share the tips and secrets of their craft.

Learn Some of the Benefits of Art 

Getting involved with World Art Day offers a unique opportunity to learn about (or be reminded of) some of the various benefits that art can bring to the individual human as well as to society as a whole. Show some interest by raising awareness and sharing some of these interesting facts about the power of art:

  • Art nurtures creativity and innovation, encouraging the practice of thinking differently and imagining new things.

  • Art embraces and honors cultural diversity, tearing down barriers and providing opportunities for understanding.

  • Art is good for the brain, activating reward centers and boosting concentration.

  • Art provides access to and recognition of emotions, perceptions and actions.

Become an Art Teacher 

Looking to make a difference in the lives of children of all ages, or even adults who want to be more creative? Then perhaps the celebration of World Art Day will offer just the motivation that is needed to pursue the path of becoming an art teacher.

Those who want to teach art in schools will likely need to get a teaching degree with a focus on artistic studies, based on the rules of their location. Alternatively, folks who have experience with art and a penchant for teaching could simply set up their own art studio in the community where they offer lessons in different styles of artistic endeavors for people of any age. 

World Art Day FAQs

What is art?

As an expression of human creativity, art may be visual, written, spoken or musical.[1]

Can art change the world?

Art can break down cultural barriers, give voices to the voiceless, and offer cultural insights that can motivate people to make changes in the world.[2]

How can art be political?

Over centuries, art has often been used to express options as part of a social or political movement to make bold statements and promote change.

What are the best art schools in the world?

Some of the top art schools include the Royal College of Art in London, Parsons School for Design in New York City, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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