In my mind, a touchstone is an event or experience that transcends time and place in which a person is touched personally by the Creator. These moments generate intense emotions and profound thought. I believe they are specific revelations from our Creator of His existence, personality and even, His intent. These touchstones have moved the prophets and poets from of old.
The Artist is the touchstone in human form, or at least can be. Artists, like the Creator, communicate outside of linear and categorical order. They speak an organic, evolving, fluid language which is understood by the Spirit.
In this way, the artist is essential to civilization. He or she brings the touchstone into a context that is available to all (though no single artist speaks to all people, yet collectively, artists speak to all of humanity). It is through art that the Spirit is awakened and the soul becomes aware of the Creator's presence in and around them. This awareness in turn fosters compassion and understanding as one learns to see the unity in diversity. (Uni-Vers or, as I like to say, "Infinite variety with absolute unity") True compassion and true understanding are the seed bed for peace and obedience to Creator's law as reflected in the creation.
Artists have a great responsibility to be what they are. It is not for themselves alone but for the community that they are here. Artists should take courage from this and draw their identity from the One who made them as opposed to reacting only to human input.
Art is listening long and deep and speaking wide. An ancient prophet has said "The heavens shout about the nature of Creator and the sky illuminates the work of his hands. Day to day they speak and night to night they teach. Their messages permeate every language and flow like rivers through the whole earth." (David, Psalm 19) The greatest work of an Artist is to affirm what we all have "now and here" as a touchstone, a meeting place for each soul and God.