Why Is Art Appreciation Required In Education?
The name Art Appreciation for a class is a little misleading. There are questions students can have right away due to this name such as, what is Art Appreciation?
Also, is it really necessary or important? The initial feeling is like one is going to waste their time from day one of school.
A better way to phrase the name would be perhaps calling it a class of art history and techniques with classification. Yet that name would be a lot longer.
Essentially this is what Art Appreciation is though. While it may at first seem dull, do not underestimate its importance. To me it is one of the most interesting parts within art.
I wish to focus on the elements within Art Appreciation that are fascinating to me, and the practical implementation every artist should look forward to.
Among the greatest benefits to find is an ability to gain art inspiration for our work.
Historical Significance Of Art Appreciation
A student may not at first realize that there are cultures we have come to know by only seeing their art which was left behind. The discovery of the Minoan culture began this way.
Rumors then began to spread as to how these people could be the infamous Atlantian people.
There is also a remote temple in the deserts of China people stumbled across. It rests high within cliff walls that is dangerous to reach.
Within those walls is a multitude of art telling a story and is the only context for what took place there.
Art plays a significant role in other studies such as archeology. It is through the discovery and study of Classical Art that we have obtained great understanding and inspiration for our time today.
The goal of Art Appreciation is to form a foundation within critical thinking and analysis for art. This foundation is required in order to understand many arts and also further the development of ones own art.
Through its lens we can gain a window through the artists eyes by way of their artistic expression. Whether this expression was as a community or as an individual.
How Art Appreciation Captures A Culture
A process is developed for anything we do as a people. There must be technology established to support that process in order to arrive at a functional end product.
This is true in any art including my own in wood art.
When you study art from history you immediately can see the process they used. With this are the techniques which formed the art and materials that were used.
Here you gain a small window into who created it. Impressionism is a key example to how a process defined an art movement. This gave us names like Monet.
The imagery presented across many pieces also begins to tell its own story. How did the people see their own culture, time, and movements of society?
These aspects will be depicted and a foundational understanding can be gained if a large enough sampling can be had. This very point is true for the age of Hellenistic Art.
Art has a unique way of capturing an image of a culture. It can be like using a modern camera taking many pictures of your hometown then showing them to a friend overseas.
The friend can begin to gain a sense of what your culture is like. Yet it is a limited window which one can peer through.
Some early languages depended heavily or completely upon imagery. The Egyptians are known for their hieroglyphs and the Mayans also for their glyphs.
Art is a foundation for basic communication between people and still speaks across time to others in the future.
Art Appreciation Has Defined Classification And Periods
Some can see this area within Art Appreciation as boring. Yet it has within it a gem for understanding societies.
I would agree that getting into the hyper elite analysis of art can be ridiculous. Some of the educated care more about thinking they know it all and looking smart than actual analysis.
The importance behind this area lay within again capturing an image of society. Here we look more to cultural shifts through time.
When one looks at history and art much context can be gained.
Often the greatest shifts within art are tied to counter movements within society. Those who wish to kick against the system as so to speak with their reasoning it is rooted within.
Here I will give you a question… Why did Plato call the arts dangerous? The answer you need to know especially as an artist.
These cultural shifts are sometimes small while at others they capture the dynamic shift of a nation.
This is about more than being able to recognize someones “blue period” in art. There is real depth that can be found if one wishes to look.
Just do not get too caught up in the know it all elitism.
Art Appreciation Is About Understanding The Message
What is the message that the artist is giving? Again here some enjoy looking smart so be wary of them.
Some imagery is to capture emotion rather than thoughts. Others show a story like a snapshot in time.
The message behind the art carries not only its meaning but also allows you to develop your skills. It is a part of the emphasis in art.
As you see how other artists have captured pieces of their life in art you too get ideas of how to do the same. Essentially you begin to learn how to communicate through imagery.
Discussion about art is for this purpose. How good are we artists today at capturing the things we wish to capture? How can we do it better? Is my message being interpreted properly?
The purpose of Art Appreciation is not to try and sound smart or snooty. It is an analysis so that we arrive at a way to better communicate with our work.
This is the core behind the visual arts. The best way to achieve this is by understanding others works.
Often an overlooked aspect of home decor is how art can influence a home with its message. How this is applied becomes important to the role and function of a space. Here academics comes into real world context.
Techniques And Application Of Art Appreciation
Here some will perk up and listen in class. There is nothing like taking someones great ideas in history… right? This is not a bad thing.
By learning the techniques others have used not only can we implement them for our application but also innovate other processes with them.
Every art has this. Some more than others. Then within a few arts we begin to find a divergence in mindset because of technology.
When does art cease to be art due to automated processes? Technology is a driving force today in the development process for many.
Once one begins to learn the techniques used within history we can then see other aspects of culture and the technology of that time as well. So here we are not only able to learn, adapt, and use these techniques but also see they used the technology of their time.
We are today no different.
You can begin to decide what kind of artist you really wish to be. It is by adopting pieces of others past and creating your own process the work you create is further cultivated and developed.
Learning How To Discuss Art
Once one knows enough about art you then gain the ability to discuss it. Before this education if one saw a monochromatic dark blue square painted onto a light blue background it would make no sense at all.
In fact it may appear ridiculous.
This art has a history and a movement behind it. It also launched into motion other variations in art that gained popularity.
Today art of this kind can be used for therapy with ease for allowing anyone to communicate what words may not be able to say.
Discussing art is a critical part of education. It opens windows for information to be added to the context and development. There is more to it than simply gaining the vernacular or appearance of knowing what art is.
Emotional Impact Within Art
Aside from capturing history, culture, society, and language we also have emotion which moves within art. Emotions can be difficult to frame within a context of words.
Yet in imagery it is easier to express.
Colors, shape, or lack of form can each play a role to the emotional context. Due to this, Non Representational Art for example is a great tool for emotional therapy. The message at times cannot always fit into a shape.
As one begins to learn Art Appreciation you cannot help but notice the emotional undertones which fills every piece. Some will have more emotion than others.
Yet even the lack of emotion is an expression to its state.
Art is meant to be felt. Just as words can move someone with its poetry so can art with its imagery.
The interesting thing about art is that with imagery and symbols it is easier to move someone than through words. The emotional component to art cannot be missed.
Is Art Appreciation Important?
After reading what Art Appreciation can give there is no doubt that it is important. In fact it becomes critical to our work.
It is critical to understanding others works. Without it we would lose much of our ability to understand art.
A new student may not initially grasp the full context of what this can offer. As they continue down their path in life within art it becomes more relevant if they continue to create.
At some point they will find themselves returning back to these basics to learn again what they may have missed.
The concepts learned become a foundational piece for our individual work and development. There will be times when that creative block hits us and this knowledge helps to push us through.
There will be processes which do not initially work then we remember how others overcame that issue.
It is about growth. It reaches our work but also our growth as to who we are and what we choose to become. It also tells the story of where we have been.
Ignore The Snobbery And Elitism
Yes art snobbery and elitism exists. Art movements and cultural shifts have taken place because of it in history. The fact that it remains here still today is no surprise.
If you went to school for any other field you would find the same thing in that department. There is a very real difference between school and the real world. If I may borrow a line from the movie “School Of Rock”… “Those who cannot do, teach”.
There will be hard line institutional thinkers within the halls of education. With them will come some ideological bent and the ivory tower syndrome where they know all.
It is ironic how art has had a major influence in being anti institutional yet the institution still knows best.
Do not let those like this get you down. In the real world you will take what is practically applicable and grow from that foundation. There will be a lot of what seems to be useless information.
Time will tell how practical it is or is not.
It should be obvious through my writing that my education in art has come from being self taught by life experience. Being as old as I am it is because I have had the time to learn these things that I can see the value to the formal education.
While formal education may have its own issues, some issues are more problematic than others, it does not mean that it is best to do without it.
Formal education can jump start you aiding to avoid many pitfalls that you would otherwise learn through life experience.