Assignment: What is Art? (Photos with Description)
Context: This is an experiential learning activity. You will visit a local art museum (online or in-person) to complete this assignment. It’s fine to do this virtually. After working through the assigned materials on art, visit your museum. As you walk through the galleries, think about the objects on display. You will likely encounter a variety of objects, including but not limited to paintings, photographs, furniture, eating utensils, and sculptures. Why are they there? What makes them different from other objects and therefore worthy of inclusion in an art gallery? Is it because they meet objective criteria for beauty, or is it merely a matter of someone’s taste or authority, like that of the curator? Alternatively, is their inclusion based on their evocative power or usefulness?
As you walk through the museum, select two objects, one that counts as art and one that does not. Your activity this week will be based on this selection and will provide you with the opportunity to evaluate theories of art and determine your own position on the question of what constitutes art.
Description: Write a summary of your experience in which you do the following: First, plan to include representations of your two selections in your summary. You may or may not be able to photograph your selections in the art gallery, so make sure an image is available online that can be downloaded and copied into your paper. Second, name the gallery you visited and the exhibition. Third, draw on this week’s readings and video materials to discuss why one of your object counts as art and the other does not. It’s fine to approach this in an informal manner and write about your experience and your evaluation of your art examples (as opposed to presenting a formal argument). Write one paragraph for each of your photo examples.
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