In the beginning of the semester, the idea I had about art was very simplistic. I thought art was just something that was created to be pretty. Throughout the past several weeks, this idea has changed drastically. I now see art as a very complex topic with various sub-genres and categories. I’ve learned from the artists we’ve seen that art can be and is anything you want it to be. For example, Heather Anacker and Krista Feld used art as a means to live a sustainable life to the best of their ability. They used raw materials to create clothing, utensils, and even dye materials with sawdust. That said, art is not just anything created to be pretty or pleasing but it can also be created with the intent of purpose and usefulness.
Art can be found in many instances of life. For me, as a sociology major, art isn’t directly studied in my field but it is relevant when we think about people and their coping mechanisms. Some people use art and creativity as a way to cope with anything in their life that may be troublesome or tiring. This is just one way it can be found in the field of sociology. Another instance could be in simple aesthetics. For a social worker, or someone who has a relationship with their clients, art can be a bridge between two people. Something as simple as having a common interest can be the bridge needed to build a relationship and trust with someone like a child. Art is able to level two people in a way where age or seniority does not get in the way of communication.
On another level besides strictly career, art is enriching. Personally, I love visual art such as paintings and drawing as well as music. I love surrealism and modernism. I love art that looks effortless but is actually a very complex skill. It is nice to see something pretty and enjoy it, especially when our lives are often so full of chaos and stress. I think art can be and is for me a source of pleasure and tranquility. I also really love instrumental jazz. Although there are no lyrics, the instrumentals can easily evoke emotion. Regardless of what song I’m listening to or where I am, if I close my eyes I feel like I’m slow dancing in a candle lit room. It is one of my favorite feelings ever and not much can compare. Art brings people joy and that is enough for it to matter.
If art were to vanish completely, everything would be so bland. Art is everywhere. The jewelry I wear, clothing styles, make up, or music. If we really think about it, we use art as a form of self expression through these things. If these things were to go away, what would we have left? What would everything look like? Our favorite movies, songs, and the like would just disappear. I think our art preferences make us unique.
The past slogan of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) being, “a great nation deserves great art” is true but because everyone deserves great art. So yes, I agree a great nation deserves great art because everyone does. Museums and galleries are a wonderful place to learn appreciation and to see the intricate details of everything created. I remember field trips to museums was my favorite thing about school and I learned so much. So, yes, I agree with the slogan because art can contribute to the education and appreciation of the people.
My idea of art has definitely changed over the semester. As our time is now coming to a close, I’ve started to appreciate art more as I see it all around me. Without art, my room would be a blank space. I’ve learned to be more appreciative and not overlook everything I see on a day to day basis because there is a creator behind most things. I think it’s beautiful.