A few weeks ago when I was questioning the value of art in comparison to other fields that I could be going into, my mom shared this quote with me that I believe the grandmother of E. W. Bok would say to him: "Make the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it."
I like the idea of making the world a better place through my art. It's just hard to feel sometimes that art makes that much of a difference because in most cases it seems to be such a subtle, almost imperceptible difference that is difficult to measure or quantify. Thus, to the left-brained world, or the world of definite right and wrong, art is of little value because the left-brain doesn't understand it because art cannot be evaluated in the same way that a math problem can be evaluated with clear-cut answers.
However, the fact that some people do not place very much value on art does not diminish it's inherent value. The value of art is a truth that holds strong regardless of people's perceptions of it, similar to the truth that a person's value doesn't change in the sight of God depending on what other people may think of that person. He or she is still every bit as valuable even if other people fail to acknowledge that value.
Whether we realize it or not, the art around us -- be it architecture, interior design, graphic design or whatever form of art -- effects us in some way. A beautiful environment has the natural effect of pleasing the senses and gladdening the heart. An ugly environment has the opposite effect.
Indeed, art has great value. It just needs to be understood and appreciated on a different level than other things that might have more obvious value.