What is Art?

This week my Sunday school class was discussing how art was defined, and I had planned on doing a blog post on it anyway, so I figured, why not give it a go?

The definition of art from dictionary.com is,

  1. The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

My definition was,

Something expressed with passion and creativity.

There was a LOT of discussion that Sunday, and a lot of different perspectives that I found quite interesting. Something I said during the discussion was that I almost wanted to get rid of the word “Art”, because art is so subjective that it can mean lots of different things to lots of different people. I personally walk by a bush and see colors, shapes, and the way the light shines on it. Whereas someone else might see how it’s constructed. Or notice the sounds that it makes.

For me, art is almost a feeling. It’s an expression of my own thoughts and emotions. Other people’s art also makes me feel things. Nearly everything has significance to me, but maybe that’s just what makes me unique, and not what makes me an artist. I think what makes someone an artist is the passion to do something with what’s inside their heads. It has nothing to do with learning to paint, or write, or play an instrument; because anyone can learn how to do those things. But what’s significant is having a story to tell, and being able to tell it. It doesn’t matter what medium you use.

To bring it back around, I think art is just a way of using a medium to express how you feel about something. A mother does work for her family because she loves them. That is an art. Picking up trash that you see on the ground and helping take care of our planet. That is an art. Painting a picture of a child sitting with their dog because you want to show the love the child feels for the dog. That is an art.

I mean, what use would a painter be if the only reason they painted was for money? They wouldn’t have anything to paint, because they wouldn’t have anything they cared about, or were passionate about.

This is all just my opinion of what makes art, “art”. I really don’t think there will ever come a point when someone can pin down exactly what art is, because it’s such a subjective thing. However, I think it’s pretty fun to think about. It’s also fun to see what art means to other people.

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