Art 6 Art Appreciation with Professor Jane Edberg

"Every child is an artist. 
The problem is how to remain 
an artist once he grows up." 

-Pablo Picasso

CHAPTER ONE LECTURE: Understanding Art
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Objectives for this chapter:

  • With training and practice art can be interpreted and understood.

  • Artists exhibit originality of thought, a requirement of creativity.

  • Art is universal. 

    But what is Art?



Jean-Michel Basquiat, "Dustheads", 1982 

A central point that the authors make clear from the beginning of The Art of Seeing is that "Art" is many things, depending on who is making it and who is looking at it. Both the creator and the viewer must use skill and imagination in their respective approaches to art. Art is an international language that transcends the ordinary. Given a source of inspiration, artists can create a meaningful experience, for themselves and others. By analyzing the various sources, elements, forms, and techniques used to create art anyone can learn how to see and to appreciate art.

"Girl with Green Eyes", 1908, painting by Henri Matisse

"Toy Story", Computer Generated Movie, John Lasseter / Lee Unkrich / Ash Brannon 

There are many answers to the question "What is Art?" It is sometimes dependent on the personal experiences of the artist and the viewer. However, one general statement might be that it is about the transforming power of creativity. Different cultures have different definitions of beauty, but all cultures create art. The drive to create art is difficult to define or explain, even by artists themselves. The impulse may come from the application of imagination to an idea, and it may come from something deeper and inexplicable. While training and practice are necessary to become proficient at making art, it is the imagination that drives the artistic process and the creative impulse. Understanding content helps us understand the art. However, that understanding is not universal, nor is it always fixed in time. Both the artist's intentions and the viewer's perceptions will be affected by their respective experiences and knowledge. While we strive to understand content, it is important to note that art does not have to have a meaning beyond simply the beauty of the form.

Four Step Sculpture, 1995, by Jim Jim

"The most potent muse of all is our inner child" 
- Stephen Nachmanovitch


Click on this link: This is Colossal
This a great website which has links to hundreds of currrent artists. Browse around to get a look at a variety of artists and their work.

Check out how the arts contribute to a well rounded education through Arts of America.

Take a look at the brilliant journal published by MIT Press which deals with art and technology- Click on: Leonardo.

Visit Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party", which is a symbolic history of women in Western civilization designed to teach women's history through a work of art that can convey the long struggle for freedom and justice. Read Judy Chicago's biography and take a look at the works that make up the Dinner Party.


Visit: Culture Shock! Are the Arts dangerous?
Viewer discretion advised!

(Use this Culure Shock webpage to do your SURVEY #1 assignment. (Located in week one.)

Issues of censorship and controversy are explored in this dynamic website.

Artists featured in this site address such perennially divisive topics such as race, religion, politics, sex, and violence. The site is designed so that visitors must make the choice of what they wish to view, listen to or read, and may opt out of seeing any objectionable material.

Zelanski/Fisher, THE ART OF SEEING 5/E, copyright 2001. Electronically reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Address of this page:

Last updated: 2016 by Jane Edberg

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