The word, “art” can be defined as a talent or ability, a painting, a story, a sculpture, a drawing, a piece of music, or anything else that is produced from someone’s imagination – things we didn’t remember we were capable of or things that are currently unimaginable because they have yet to be produced. Art is everything, everyone, and everywhere. It might be seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled. We can also sense and absorb it unaware of its very existence or effect.
Art, in itself a category of knowledge, is power in its ability to influence and/or produce emotion or ideas in others. Converting one thing into another is magic and possibility; as direct a reflection of humanity as there is.
Taking one thing – words, paint, clay, light, a coat hanger – and combining it with something else – a banjo, a canvas, a feather, a window, space – using just the imagination to combine two or more things to make something completely different, something that never existed before that moment, transforms the artist and the audience into something new too.
Even a question can be a work of art, especially if it generates an original answer. Capturing an essence – turning nothing into something or one thing into another – defines art. Words into stories, an idea into a painting or sculpture, a body into a dance movement, a concept into a play, a feeling into a photograph, a series of sounds into a melody, the possibilities are endless.
And art doesn’t have to be the result; it can be the act of creation, or the feeling the act or result evokes. If beauty were in the eye of the beholder, wouldn’t art truly exist only in the minds of its creators and observers?
Whatever the medium, an artist can cause others to react – sometimes in ways that were never intended or imagined – and the audience need not have any knowledge of the artist’s intent or of the art form itself to be able to understand, enjoy, or even despise the work on some level.
Learning from art doesn’t depend on a good memory, a high IQ, or the ability to grasp complicated mathematical calculations and scientific formulas. All that’s needed is an open mind. No one need feel inadequate or unintelligent in any artistic realm because art, in addition to teaching us, also exists to be appreciated and make us feel something; anything.
Art is learning in its most pure form. We gain knowledge about the mediums we study, but, at the same time, and more importantly, we absorb knowledge about humanity and ourselves, producing, if we’re lucky, a plethora of endless possibilities for our own lives – we are, after all, each our own ongoing and ever evolving work of art.