Why Teach Art?

Why Teach Art by Tina Farrell

ART IS A SCIENCE In many cases creating art demands exact, specific mixtures as a variety of compounds such as: silica, wax, oil, and pigment. Artists develop hypotheses on the result of these combinations and how they will effect their art. This experimentation is done with note taking in a journal to record successful and sometimes not so successful results. Artists look for absorption rates, appropriate catalysts, dissociation points, and causes of devitrification. Artists are keen observers and recorders of their environment just as a scientist is. Artists are scientists.

ART IS MATHEMATICAL Artists translate a complex three-dimensional world in to two-dimensional and three-dimensional images and sculptures. This requires a keen understanding of spatial relationships, linear perspective, technical shading of form, symmetry and asymmetry, and a knowledge of geometrical and organic shapes. Many works of art require the artist to develop exact measurements of size and weight. Artists are mathematicians.

ART IS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE Many of the terms commonly used in art originate from a variety of languages like: Italian, German, Latin, and French. Words such as: appliqué, Bas Relief, tromp-l'oeil, chiaroscuro, monochrome, gouache, and sgraffito. Vocabulary in art is a blend of many cultures and therefore becomes its own unique language. Artists speak a foreign language.

ART IS HISTORY Art reflects the environment, culture, and often the political conditions of the time and place in which it was created. The artworks of the world are mankind's greatest records of his history on planet earth. The cave paintings of France, the pyramids of Giza, the urns of Greece, the sculptures of Michelangelo, the masks of the Native Americans, the narrative paintings of the 19th century, and the characters of Grant Wood, have all remained as a record of communication of times gone by. History is simply not history without the artifacts that support its existence. Artists record history. ART IS

LANGUAGE ARTS Art is a higher form of communication. As artists translate the world around them, stories of bravery, heroism, valor, sorrow, and hope emerge into narratives of imagery, characters, and settings. Artists research, brainstorm, rough draft, create preliminary drawings, keep journals, date title, and sign their works, and create works based upon a theme or series. Artists have made images inspired by poems, music, stories, and events. Artists are communicators.

ART IS PHYSICAL EDUCATION Art requires fantastic coordination of the fingers, hands, arms, and body. The hand and the eye must work in perfect harmony in order to create. Many forms of art require great physical strength, balance, and coordination such as sculpting large structures from stone, metal, and wood, and throwing hundreds of pounds of clay. Painting, drawing, and sculpting require great physical stamina. Artists are fit for life.

ART IS TECHNOLOGY Great works of art are now created on computers requiring artists to have highly developed computer skills and knowledge. Graphic arts and communication professions have changed dramatically with the use of this tool. Artists are visionaries.

ART IS ALL OF THESE THINGS, BUT MOST OF ALL, ART IS ART It allows a human being to take all of these dry, technical, and difficult techniques and use them to create intense beauty, and powerful emotional response. This is one thing that science cannot duplicate, mathematics cannot calculate, foreign language cannot translate, history cannot legislate, and physical education cannot replicate.

THAT IS WHY WE TEACH ART! Not because we expect you to major in Art. Not because we expect you to create art all of your life. Not so you can relax or just have a hobby.

WE TEACH ART So you will be human. So you will recognize and appreciate true beauty. So you can communicate from the very depths of your soul. So you will be sensitive to life and the peoples within it. So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world. So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness - more life.