What Do You Consider “Art”?

Which one is really art?
Which one is really art? Of course, only one of these was in Art of the State

Lately, I’ve been asked a lot about my painting. You’re probably sitting there thinking, “I thought she was a metalsmith?” Yes, yes I am. But I am an artist and before finding the fabulousness of pounding metal with a hammer, I did a variety of other art forms – drawing, painting, ceramics, photography. This, of course, was mostly in high school and college.

I never considered myself a painter and yet I still consider myself an artist. Is it possible to be an artist who doesn’t paint? Or one who doesn’t draw? What exactly IS art?

Hmmm...
Hmmm…

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (here, here, and here for example) there is this (false) notion that art only involves certain media. Strangely some people consider performing arts (like dance, theater, or music) more of an art form than the practical/decorative arts of many craftspeople. Others think that writing is an art, but ceramics is something that retired people do to fill their time.

What is it about making with your hands a tangible object that is beautiful, but perhaps functional that moves this practice out of the realms of “art” and into some other, lesser realm.

No one form of art is any more or less than any other. Metalsmithing is just as valid (and “art worthy”) as improvisational jazz, expressionistic painting, or “high literature.” Even within the categories of kinds of art there are further, smaller categories that are looked down on (can you say sci-fi or metal-core?) Why are we so judgmental of this? Is it because it’s so subjective? Or do we just want to feel like what we like is all that matters?

I guess it’s probably a little of both.

What do YOU think constitutes art? Are any particular media less “art worthy” than others? Give us YOUR opinion in the comments.

3 thoughts on “What Do You Consider “Art”?

  1. If you create a thing – painting, coffee mug, interpretive dance, cantata, graffiti mural. doily, sculpture – any thing – because something within you compels you to give it form, because you can’t rest until you do; it’s art. There is much to discuss about whether or not it might be “good” art, but I strongly believe it is surely art.

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  2. Art is creativity. It’s limitless. Good or bad is just in one person’s reaction to the piece of art so the label only applies for that one person. Then again, that’s only my opinion 🙂 I think art is what you create for yourself… hmmm. more difficult question – what if you don’t create for yourself and just want someone to buy whatever you are creating. Maybe that’s still “art”? Random thoughts…

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