Updated: Jul 1, 2021
How do we define Art?
What is the definition of Art? What do you believe fits into the category of Art work? What do you see?
These are some of the questions that I grapple with daily, as I continue to engage in my relationship with art and my identity as an artist.
2020 has made me realize how much Art is a part of my humanity. With the loss of human connections that we have all experienced this year, and the loss of contact to Art in the context of culture, whether it be visiting museums, attending concerts or sporting events, or religious/family gatherings, we have lost a portion of our humanity.
Art is a connection to the material world in a creative and intellectual sense. I believe that all of us can appreciate Art by that definition. For me, Art has become a way that I explore my inner thoughts and feelings.
Our lived experiences and positionalities affect the ways in which we perceive Art or engage with the Art around us. Therefore, the definition of Art is subjective. I posed the above questions in our first Art In Conversation session, Perspective Matters. Here are some of the wonderful thoughts I came away with from our discussion.
Art can be objects in the world around us, in our homes, in nature, or in museums.
Art can refer to the result of any creative process such as a painting, a poem, a novel, a song, or a performance.
Art can also be the process itself, the act of painting, writing, singing and so on.
Art is just as much about the process of creating as it is about the product.
Art can be any activity that connects us to culture
Art is an expression of human intellectual accomplishment.
Art is human connection...creating with peers, creating to give or sell, creating and sharing with the people around us.
Art can be the purest form of self expression.
Art can be genuine self exploration.
Art can be seen as an extension of medicine. It is the process of healing as it can help with both mental and physical health.
Art can be exploratory and innovative.
Art is food for the soul.
Art is a connection to our higher consciousness.
Art is vulnerability.
Art is preserved memories or snapshots in time. Whether, a gift from a grandchild, a family photo, the mood captured by a haunting melody, actors reliving moments time and time again on stage.
Art is an example of discipline and hard work.
How do you engage with Art in your daily life and what kinds of effects does it have on you?
As human beings we can engage with Art in so many different ways! I myself primarily engage with it through my own photography. Whether it be taking the pictures, curating albums, or designing my website, I am constantly immersing myself in a creative process and creating Art.
My sister engages in Art by collecting it. Each piece of Art we own tells a story, whether it be the story unfolding on the canvas or the memory created when you first laid eyes on the work and decided to take it home.
For some, Art is a connecting force between family members. The pieces they hold closest to their hearts are those created by a loved one or family photos.
Engaging in art has the ability to bring us closer to our spirituality, as art similarly to religion can be a mindfulness practice.
Art can deepen our connection to nature and the elements.
Food for Thought:
Delving deep into topics such as these often further spark my curiosity and tend to leave me with more questions than when I started. If you have a few moments, I encourage you to sit with any of these questions to further understand and strengthen your relationship with art.
How do performing arts and studio art affect you differently? Which one creates a larger impact on you and why?
Are there generational gaps that impact how we interact with Art?
How do we engage with art differently throughout the course of our lives?
How does the presence or absence of art affect your life/mood
What does it mean to be an artist?
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