Lesson 5: What is Art?
What is art?
When we hear the word art, some of our minds jump to museums or framed paintings. And in that context, some people think, I’m not really a big fan of art. I just don’t get it. Or maybe they think of art as something that’s just for intellectuals, or artsy people.
But really, art is for anyone who wants to experience it, and it’s often in more places than we might realize. Songs you like, movies you watch, poems, theater, even a quilt that your grandmother made: All of this, and more, is art.
Watch the video below to learn more about art.
So you might be wondering, Well, then, what is art exactly? This can be tough. Art has been around for thousands of years, and through the ages it has evolved in a number of ways. The reasons for creating it vary from person to person, depending on any number of factors as well, so defining art is pretty tricky and is something that’s been debated throughout history. There simply isn’t one agreed-upon definition.
Many believe that art is anything that stirs emotion in you. These emotions depend entirely on your history, your story, basically everything that comes together to make up who you are. Because of this, three different people can experience the same piece of art and have wildly different reactions to it. One person might think it’s the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen, the second person might hate it, and the third might not feel much of anything at all. And none of them would be wrong!
Everyone’s entitled to their own preferences and feelings. The way you feel about your favorite song could be the same way someone else feels about their favorite sculpture. And even though you might not like that sculpture, it can be valuable to consider why that person enjoys it so much. You may learn something about them and maybe even yourself.
The term art is really just a label. Over the years, a lot of people have tried to classify what it is or what it isn’t. But that’s not really what art is about; it’s about your personal experience with it and the meaning you draw from it. Everyone reacts to art differently and has the potential to grow and learn from it. It gives us an opportunity to tell stories, record history, and tap into our emotions in a way that few other things can.