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Lesson Plans


Re: WHAT IS ART

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry (taylorh)
Mon, 19 May 1997 09:27:46 -0700 (MST)


On Sat, 17 May 1997, Annie wrote:

> My name is Annie and I have Two questions about Art.
> 1. Why do we need to learn Art?
> 2. What is the substitution for Art?

I think that you got some good answers Annie, but, what really counts is -
what do you think? Did those answers meet your need?

The question "Why do we need to learn Art" is also the question "Do we
need Art?" Do YOU, Annie, need art or artists? If you answer yes then
the reasons you have for answering that question will point in the
direction of a good answer for the larger question of why we need to LEARN
Art. If, on the other hand, your answer is "No, we don't need art." then
I would ask you to imagine a world without art, artists, or people who
"believed in art".

Take away all of the colors that don't have a good reason to be there. We
need Stop and Go lights but most clothes don't need any colors or
patterns, furniture, and machines, and buildings don't usually need
color. Think of all the money we could save and use to save peoples lives
if everything was grey!

We could get rid of interesting shapes and patterns too and make more
things all look the same. We need school bells but not Music or CDs and
do we really need to play? A lot of art could be said to be "just for
fun" and, if we don't need it for art, we probably don't need it for
other things too.

You could say that a lot of the people who put the colors and shapes and
patterns into everything aren't "REAL" artists. And, MAYBE you'd be
right... But the people can who do those things usually DO believe in art
and believe that they need to learn Art and even ARE artists after work.
Not all artists are rich and famous after all.

Now, you can't hope to just look at a baby and say "Nope, no art for her!
Not needed there." And, you can't just test kids and tell them what to
study... Well, you COULD, but does it really sound like a good idea? And
there are some people who never thought much about art before who
eventually find a reason to think about art ALL the time; and even DO
become rich and famous Artists. You never know what you are going to want
to do years from now and the situation doesn't allow you to want to learn
about Art until you have already begun to learn about Art.

Some people say that Art is about making stuff SPECIAL. Would it be good
to live somewhere where there was never anything special and always just
the bare minimum stuff that we needed? Would people be happy living in a
world like that?

There are all kinds of ways of answering your question. But YOU have to
decide what kind of answer is the best kind for YOU. YOU have to find
YOUR OWN "special" answer. Why do YOU, Annie, need to learn art? That's
the real question. What do YOU want to be special and how will you know
when it is special? Are the most special things for you things that come
out of factories by the hundreds and thousands?

And then too, if you want to tell someone something special, something
happy, or something sad; and, if you don't know what to say, how could you
let that other person know what you wanted them to know? Would it matter
to you if they thought it was something special, or sad, or happy too?
How are you going to find out what kinds of stuff can do those things if
you aren't given the opportunity to learn about them? We could just guess
I suppose, but are guesses usually right especially when you don't know
anything about the kind of things you are guessing about?

What can you substitute for "Special"? Nothing that I know of.

Good luck finding an answer that works for you. By the way, just starting
out to answer that question is one way that quite a few people have begun
to learn that they ARE Artists and that they want to do things in their
lives that have something to do with Art.

This answer isn't really any different than the other answers that were
sent. They all say kind of the same thing. The only real difference is
that this one is so darn long! I'm trying to guess at what other questions
you might want to ask about a shorter answer.

-henry