Art 1 – Art Appreciation – Due 5/19


Watch this award winning film short titled Art Appreciation and consider the ideas presented.

What makes something art?

What is art?

What is good art?

What makes meaning in art?

Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?

In your comments, consider  and thoughtfully discuss at least 3 of these questions.

In your sketchbook, 1 hour on a “meaningful” drawing, collage, or mixed media.

Reminder: Visit the High School Art Show at the Santa Cruz Art League before May 25. Scroll down for information in previous blog post.


28 responses »

  1. 1) Something is art when it expresses someones view or opinion on a subject matter that may or may not be known to the viewer. It may be through painting, drawing, poetry, music, etc.
    2) Art is something that you appreciate and appeals to you whether it be visual, auditory, tactile or gustatory pleasure.
    3) Good art to me will be different from what good art to someone else is. That is because art is subjective. But art to me is when someone puts work, effort, time, and thought into something they enjoy and think will bring joy to others.
    4) What makes meaning in art depends on how the artist decides to portray or display their art. Viewers often don’t know what the meaning of the piece is so they think of what it could possibly mean in their head. Its all about how the viewer interprets the piece that makes the art mean something to them.
    5) The artist is the only person who knows the absolute meaning behind the art. The viewers can misconstrue meaning and interpret it a different way, however this doesn’t mean that they are wrong it just means they see it a different way.

  2. What makes something art?
    I think that what makes something art is the viewers interpretation of it as art. I liked the film because I felt like it represented my view of art, which is that you can have something the created did not intend to be art that other people see as art and visa versa. To me, art is entirely subjective and dependent on the viewers opinions.

    What is good art?
    In my opinion, good art cannot be defined. You can create criteria and pick one that best fits it, but in the end, what makes a piece of art good is that you simply like it, and there is no universal good art because it cannot be defined.

    What makes meaning in art?/Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    I think that what makes meaning in art is the knowledge and past experiences of the viewer as well as the artist; that some pieces have clear messages from the artist while for others the meaning is put into the art by the viewer.

  3. For me there is art in pretty much anything if you are in the mood to notice it but art is also choices. When you choose to use one color for one thing or to do a specific movement at a specific time or you choose to not plan ahead that is art. It is kind of like a different mind set that you can visit when you choose or see. I think good art largely depends on the viewer and if they are willing to kind of risk the embarrassment or leap to a different way of thinking. Meaning in art is most clear when the artist knows the meaning before making the art, then the viewer may not have to do so much to find the message but sometimes art is supposed to be up to the viewer and in these cases there can be many meanings and again it’s the viewer who ultimately decides what to see.

  4. I believe something is art if someone put effort into making it and used their imagination. Art can be found in nature, but a person cannot then credit it to be their own. There is also a randomness to art, and when the artist is creating it, the art makes itself to some degree. That is when you know it is art. I consider good art to require a lot of thinking and creativity. The more a work of art makes the observer think “I would have never thought of that myself,” the better it is. This also gives art a mysterious quality. I think the artist gives the work meaning as they are creating it and making decisions. All art has meaning whether or not the artist intentionally gives it meaning. However, I think it is up to the viewers to interpret the meaning, and this may be the same or completely different from what the artist intended.

  5. What makes something art?
    I think that something if the person who made it signed it, or put a name to it. That shows that they are labeling it so it is not just for their pleasure. But ultimately, I think that something is art if the maker wants it to be art.

    What is art?
    To me, art is anything that displays or captures emotion and/or feelings. For example, dance could be art, or photography could be also.

    What is good art?
    I don’t really think that there is good art and bad art. It all depends on what the artist thinks of it. Different people can have an idea of what they think, so it is good or bad depending on whose eyes you are looking through, but the artist makes the actual decision. But if you put your art out into the world, you should expect that there will be different ideas about it.

    What makes meaning in art?
    I think that anything could be meaning in art. The color you use, the subject, or the relationship between the two etc.

    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    I think that both the artist and the viewer make the meaning. Everyone interprets things differently, so the art may mean one thing to the artist and a completely different thing to the viewer. I think that is the real beauty of art.

  6. I think that something is art if the person who created it had the intention of it being art, or if it is something that the people viewing it think of as art.
    I think art is anything that conveys an emotion feeling or something like beauty, tranquility or destruction.
    I don’t think there is such a thing as good art or bad art. There might be more technical or advanced art but not good or bad. If I did have to define art as good I would say that it is good if the artist feels that the art captures what he or she was going for.
    I think the artist makes the original meaning of the art through how he or she creates the piece and what they what themselves or the viewer to get out of the piece. However I think that the viewer of the art can create their own meaning by how they interpret the art.

  7. I think art is something that can cause emotions in the people who see it, that is often beautiful but not necessarily, and that makes people think about the world.
    I think that good art can be something completely different to each person. For instance, I like more realistic art that I can see a story in, while other people like more abstract art that only conveys emotions without situations. What’s good to me might be bland to them, and what’s good to them could be confusing to me.
    I think that each individual makes meaning in art (or does’t, like the guy in the video in the beginning.) I think that the artist makes a meaning, and some people chose to go along with that meaning, but I also think that people should be free to find their own meaning if what they artist meant isn’t what they believe.

  8. 1/2) Art is an expression of creativity that is put on a surface using a media.
    3) “Good” art is a piece that expresses an emotion or opinion with good use of values and color.
    4) Meaning is created when an art piece makes you feel something or uses free association.
    5) The viewer always creates the meaning. The artist can look at the art and be the viewer, but they are not the artist when they see the art. True, that the artist creates the art, but the viewer is the one that feels something. When you see a zodiac reading, the writer didn’t write that for you. You associated it with your own life my weaving meaning into words.

  9. What is art?
    In my opinion art is the creative expression of emotions or ideas given a physical form.

    What makes meaning in art?
    Many things make meaning in art, color, shape, texture. there are many meanings in art some hidden and some not. To make meaning in the piece you must transfer thought or emotions into your work and is an option to make the meaning hidden or not.

    Who makes the meaning the artist or the viewer?
    The viewer always makes the meaning, the artist is a viewer even if they made the piece they are still the viewer.

  10. Something becomes art when it plants a feeling or thought into the observer. When we look at nature, we feel a sense of connection. If an artist paints a tree, usually their desire is to make you feel that sense of connection and peace you would get by looking at the real thing. This can be achieved by making the tree look incredibly realistic or by using a combination of colors that conveys the beauty of the tree.

    Art is a representation of something through a medium, no matter if that something is a feeling or something physical or a thought. It could be happiness; it could be sorrow; it could be a rock; it could be the seashore. Art is a way to communicate these thoughts and feelings and ideas without using words.

    “Good” art is art that conveys what it is trying to say really really well, like a painting of a tree looking realistic or a splatter of paint reminding you of happiness. The communication between artist and observer is clear and obvious. You can clearly see what the artist was trying to say through their piece if it is good art.

  11. Art is expression. Good art is effective at communicating what that expression is to the observer. I feel as though the viewer really creates the meaning through their interpretation of art however what the artist chooses to express and how they does this influences that interpretation.

  12. Art is the depiction and expression of emotion, objects, or fantasies.
    Good art catches your eye and makes you want to look at it more. It can be pretty, or emotionally interesting.
    Meaning in art is made by using particular colors, light, contrast, and stories. Certain characters in art can help depict emotion and add meaning to the piece.

  13. 1) art is the abstraction of real life
    2)art is the use of things found in nature to exemplify a feeling or sense of something felt or to capture an emotion, much like the way a picture can capture a single fraction of a second in time, art is the emotional, labor intensive, more primordial version of that
    3)good art is art that someone has put their soul into, and should use at least a few formal elements of “art”, it doesn’t necassiarily have to use all formal elements (such as contrast and color schemes, colors should clash and be different in my opinion)

  14. Who makes the meaning: In short, both. The artist makes the meaning in the sense that he is also the viewer. They both interpret art in their own way, and make meaning out of art in their own way.

    Art: Art is imagination used to convey emotion. It is put on some type of media.

    What makes meaning: The viewer makes the meaning in the art. The viewer can interpret sections of the art, or the design quality and try to judge the meaning.

  15. What makes something art?
    I think anything can be art this whole universe is art and it is how one looks at everything. To say something is not art is to be blind to the artistry one puts into a sandwich or into the configuring of an iphone. There is bad art, good art, great art, thoughtless art, reckless art, but something that is a key component in art is how someone views it. Anyone can splatter juice or whatever on the wall on accident but what makes it art is when the two youth looks at it with a new perception.
    What is art?
    Art is something that is supposed to invoke meaning or any kind of thought at all and for some it seems like a foreign language. For example everything is art when you seek meaning from it, which I think is an interesting idea. Although some art is more literal than others if it exists someone can assign meaning or relevance to it.
    What is good art?
    Good art I think is very subjective because the definition of art is so huge. In my opinion I value artistry and technical skill, while still invoking meaning. I think what makes good art is the ability to invoke a message, or relevance which through some’s eyes can pretty much anything. However good art is so incredibly personal and based upon one’s ideas and history to make one broad definition is pretty arbitrary.

  16. What is art?
    Art is anything that is interpreted as worth more or as having more meaning than it has a face value. Art is a bout what people think is art, so anything can be art if someone can affix a value to it that makes it more than just a scribble, a rock or a splotch of paint.
    What is good art?
    Good art is determined by the people who view it and judge it, so it’s to subjective to quantify in a few sentences. Generally speaking I think art is better if it has a clearer meaning or clearer distinguishing factors that differentiate it from non-art.
    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    Both, the artist intends for a meaning to be conveyed, but that can be fully, or partially interpreted, or entirely ignored. The viewer ascribes his/her own meaning to each piece he/she views so ultimately the viewer has more importance in determining what the meaning of a work is, though the artist is able to convey the same meaning to all viewers whereas a viewers meaning is restricted to his/herself.

  17. What makes something art?
    Nothing can make art art. All it is is something someone put time and effort into making (it can even be an accidental creation).
    What is art?
    Art is the “experiential interpretation of reality.” It is a physical form to help express emotions and invoke feelings.
    What is good art?
    Shows a lot of time and effort was put into it. It demonstrates some kind of feeling and has some form of creativity (which can be interpreted differently by different people).
    What makes meaning in art?
    Meaning is an opinion/interpretation so it makes sense that what makes meaning in art is the interpretation that is given to it by the artist and viewers.
    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    No one truly makes the meaning because the meaning can be interpreted differently depending of the artist and there viewers. That’s one of the coolest things about art that everyones thoughts about it can be different.

  18. What makes something art?
    Ok this is going to sound really pretentious but I think art doesn’t necessarily have a “requirement.” I think technically anything can be seen as art because art is expression and a representation of some sort of meaning. If someone creates something with some kind of idea/purpose behind it, it’s art. That shouldn’t be questioned. It’s actually really annoying when people decide that just because they don’t like a piece of art (like the angsty dude in the short film) it doesn’t qualify as art. The definition of art lies in the eyes of the artist and the viewer. The definition of art shouldn’t discriminate and if one truly looks hard enough, art can be seen in anything. (please burn me)

    What is art?
    Art expresses the abstract, or whatever cannot be demonstrated/expressed in a basic manner. Art goes beyond literal definitions and expands our interpretation of reality.

    What is good art?
    Art is entirely subjective. If “good” art truly existed, it would shatter the definition of art. No matter how strange a piece of art is, there’s going to be someone out there in the world who finds meaning, beauty or value in it. People can have artistic preferences and people can struggle to find meaning in certain pieces of art, but that doesn’t mean that certain art is bad or better or worse than others.

  19. I define art as anything from which people can take meaning that the creator did not necessarily intend. For Example, this weekend I was at an abandoned naval base in Alameda. But to me, it was a post apocalyptic wasteland of empty warehouses, chain-link fences and concrete being overrun by vegetation and years of wind and weather. Likewise, the kid found meaning in the wallpainting, which did end up just being a coffee stain or something. Thus, the person who experiences art finds its true meaning from their own lens. If I had to say one thing, it’s that the person who experiences finds meaning. Just like life, you experience, take things in, and find meaning to extract.

  20. 1- It conveys an idea or message creatively
    2- An expression of someone’s opinion through a medium that is not just sentences & words.
    3- Art that makes you feel an emotional response while looking at it
    4- When there are strong emotions and meaning behind the painting that you can see.
    5- The viewer can interpret art however they want, and sometimes they will see much more than the artist intended & vice versa.

  21. 1. This is a hard thing to define. Not only are there so many types of art, but there are so many interpretations as to what it even is that all depend on a person’s flexibility of definition. To some, all is art, but to others, only beautiful things make art. There are so many artistic philosophies that each encompass a different view of what art is or should be….

    2. To me, it is how a person experiences their reality and their environment, accentuating what they feel stands out in this reality most.

    3. A style that acts consistently with one’s view of their reality/environment.

    4. Perhaps the artist has nothing truly to convey, but their art must at least leave an impression and emotion upon the viewer.

    5. The artist may have one idea in mind (or not at all), and viewers can interpret it wildly differently. The artist may have a way they want their audience to interpret their art, to see it the way they do. Usually, life events affect an artist’s style and expression, so I’d like to say meaning is drawn from the connection between an artist’s life experience and their artistic style, but meaning could also just be again how an artist interprets their reality and reflects that in art. Ultimately, I believe it is the artist that gives the art meaning as well as context.

  22. i think a lot of what makes something art is intent. What was the artist trying to convey when they created the piece? What inspired them to make it? Why did they choose those specific materials or that specific location to display their work? I really like in the video, when the boy mentions that “he could have made that” sculpture with the paper towels” and the girl replies “yes, but you didn’t.” I think that captures what art is perfectly. Last year in art history during the modern art unit, we had a lot of discussions about what exactly makes something art. We looked at pieces such as the toilet by Duchamp, and I (personally) came to the conclusion that the idea behind a piece is often more powerful than the piece itself. Could I, theoretically, sign my name on a toilet? Yes. But I didn’t.

    I do think it is somewhat misleading, however, to suggest that the artist is wholly responsible for creating meaning in art. I think the viewer definitely contributes to what art means, and the cool thing about that is that no art piece will ever be the same because each person sees it differently. Every person brings their own experience to the table, events that happened to them, people they met that can warp the way they see the art.

  23. What makes something art?
    art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” Something can be art if it’s ugly or not necessarily requiring skill. It’s just not good art.

    What is good art?
    I classify something good art when it uses a combination of the artist’s skill and interpretation of visual stimuli to create a visually-appetizing piece.

    What makes meaning in art?
    When the artist and/or the viewer use art to inform or change their views on something, or invoke an emotion.

    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?

  24. I think the first three questions are almost impossible to answer and in fact maybe shouldn’t be definitively answered. The whole process of trying to find a neat definition of art and good art that perfectly boxes it up with a bow is a futile process. I think in the end, thats one of the things that i most enjoy about art. Its breadth is wide, ever-changing, and organic. In many ways, art is like a living organism and trying to reduce it down to a one word or even paper long essay would and could never do it justice.

    What makes meaning in art?
    Usually references to something; or color and shape

    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    Both. its not binary. The artist can instill meaning into his work but the viewer doesn’t have to pick it up. Vice versa The viewer can see meaning where the artist didnt intend it.

  25. What makes something art? I think that if someone makes something and calls it art, it is art.

    What is art? Art is a method of expression.

    What is good art? Good art evokes emotions from the viewer.

    What makes meaning in art? When the viewer feels something while experiencing a piece of art, they make meaning. The viewer may feel transcendence.

    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer? Both the artist and the viewer make meaning, but often they are different meanings.

  26. 1. In my opinion, good art is something that provokes some type of response from the viewer. The stronger the response, the better the art. It doesn’t necessarily have to be technically impressive, although that definitely does help some.

    2. Meaning in art varies from person to person, so it’s hard to say what gives art meaning. It depends on the viewer’s experiences in life, and how they choose to interpret the piece. The most revealing things about the meaning of an art piece, however, are strong symbols that stick out, and common themes throughout the piece.

    3. Art could be anything if an artist says it is art. They put a bunch of random stuff in modern art museums that seriously doesn’t look like art, but they have credibility so whatever they say goes I guess. If it looks pretty, then it could be called art.

  27. Art is something I always describe as something that looks visually appealing, nothing more, nothing less. What makes good art is how close somebody gets to making something that looks visually appealing on some spectrum, and this will differ for different people. Meaningful art is also something that happens often but I have trouble assigning relevance to it, but nonetheless, symbols can be used in art to make things more meaningful.

  28. In art, i think that the artist makes up his or her meaning of their artwork and the viewer makes up another meaning. It all just depends on how you look the the artwork. Good art is anything visually that you think seems to be engaging to you. Art can be anything you want it to be; a dot on a canves, a landscape paining, a doodle drawing. Anything that seems to have personality to you.

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