Paper Title
Visual Art and Role in Communication
Maria Akuejeozi Mbelu
Arts, Language, and Communication

Visual art plays a very crucial role in communication and often act as an alternative to other languages. While language communicates through words, visual art does it through forms, shapes lines and colours. Visual art language can be perceived via forms, symbols, signs, designs, colours, textures, lines, etc. The nature of visual art and its role in the society have been subjected to various interpretations. Some view visual art as a kind of personal therapy, others as a vehicle of political expression and a catalyst for social and political change. All these are forms of communication and they contain the same truth as a language. Today, in Nigeria, visual art instruction has been so narrowed down in the school curriculums, such that the subject is no longer regarded as an important school subject. This, in effect, diminishes the importance of visual art in the Nigerian society and thus limits its appreciation as a communication tool. The aim of this study is therefore to showcase the importance of visual art, as a means of communication and ready tool for mass mobilization. The same way spoken or written words are used as a means of communication, visual art likewise perform similar functions in communication.

Visual art, communication, symbols, signs, mobilization, information


The position of visual art in the socio-political economy of the nation, particularly regarding communication, cannot be over emphasized. Visual art as a means of communication influences society at large. In this regard, Dumbadze and Hudson (2013)posit that artists, art historians,critics and theorists seek to complicate the register of aesthetic judgement by linking its formal pronouncements to context, politics and history; yet ‘form’ remains everywhere.

To a layman visual art is just drawing but to an artist it is a medium of expression, which can have both intrinsic and extrinsic value. Visual art is the art appreciated by sight, which includes painting, sculpture, textile, ceramic, graphics, etc., expressed through the instrumentality of forms, symbols, signs, designs, colours, textures, lines, shapes, etc. It is an integral part in the process of living. The act of forming the image of man is art. Visual art encompasses all the fundamental aspects of life and living, starting from our environment to our hair-do; from the dress we wear to the shoe on our foot. It has the power to both represent reality and express it. Visual art is a universal bond and language among all cultures. In this respect, visual art is bonded to human conditions and is a reflection of the cultural fibre of the society.


Download the rest of the work from the link below the references



Aniakor, C. (1991). Uli traditional Igbo art.

Bernstein, J. M. (1993). The fate of art: Aesthetic alienation from Kant to Derrida and Adorno. Oxford London: Blackwell Publishers.

Duane, &Sarah.(1994). Art forms: An Introduction to the visualArts. 5thEdition. New York: Harper Collins College Publisher.

Dumbanze, A., & Hudoson, S. (2013). Contemporary art, 1989 to present. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and sons. Inc.

Emoji meaning.lists.Smiley. Retrieved from https//

Hayakawa, S. I., & Hayakawa, A. R. (1992). Language in thought and action. Fifth Edition. U.K

Johnston, A., & Hallet, C. (2010). Fabric for fashion: A comprehensive guide to national fibre. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Medley, S. (2012). The picture in design: The image.UK.: Common Ground Publisher.

Ocivirk, B. W. S. (1981). Art fundamentals: Theory and practice. 5th Ed. Publishers W.M.C. Brown College Division.

Osborne, H.  (1970). The art of appreciation: The appreciation of the arts/4. London: Oxford University Press.

Road Signs. Traffic safe. Retrieved from www.

Udenta, F. (1998). Painting as a tool for communication. IMT Journal of Communication Arts. 1, 24-32.

Walter, F. (2017). Artist tool box colour: A practical guide to colour and its uses in Art. Quarto Publishing Group. USA.