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Visual Literacy

January 21, 2016

When people talk about the importance of literacy, they are most often speaking about a functional reading level. Text has been incredibly important in our society for so long, and rightly so. How do you find your way in a new place without reading street signs? How can you find new programs in the community if you can't read the paper? We have developed to a point where literacy is very important for functioning in our culture. 


However visual literacy is beginning to grow. We find ourselves in front of screens rather than paper. We watch videos, gifs, vines. Yes we text rather than call, but texting has evolved to phonetic (no pun intended) spelling, require lower levels of text based literacy. Even the news opts to show us a 30 second video rather than give us a paragraph of writing. This movement shows that visual literacy is much more important.


How do gallery visits and interacting with art help with visual literacy? It enabels people to problem solve based on what they see rather than what they are told. They learn how to decipher, observe and interpret. It improves our ability to understand the world around us, including the videos, gifs and vines. Visual literacy is harder to measure than text based literacy, however it is becoming increasingly important, and viewing artwork and visiting galleries becomes key in developing these skills. 


Or maybe measuring visual literacy is easire than I thought... Try this quiz to see how you rank.




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