What is Art?

What is art? This is a small question with big implications

and the debate has raged since the word was invented! Artists, critics, scholars and virtually everyone else seems to have an opinion, and every opinion comes with an agenda. The agenda is usually to promote one’s own interests and/or belittle those of others. This is because in the art world there is a pecking order, and the art with the most status commands the highest praise and (more important to some) the highest price. Painters and sculptors have traditionally claimed the high ground with the term “fine art” and have tried to keep the club as exclusive as possible. Other mediums such as glass blowing were relegated to the “crafts” category and treated as second class.

Glass blowing has clawed its way into the fine arts club through much lobbying effort during the second half of the twentieth century by the leaders of the studio glass movement, and in general the art world is getting more inclusive. Even some graffiti artists have gotten main-stream acceptance. What about basket weaving, comic books, photography, legos, magic shows, etc?

My opinion is that it is all art, and I make no distinctions of worth between mediums. Anything that involves expression is art. Well gosh, that’s everything! Yes, and that includes brushing your teeth if you do it expressively. Art is a grand dialog and I say let everyone join in the conversation. Life is art. Everyone is an artist, although few seem to want to admit it. Let’s not get picky about which art medium is better. Every artist has an audience. If an artwork speaks to you, listen and appreciate. If it inspires you, join the conversation!

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