ARTH101: Discussion Topic 2, Defining Art


I do agree with the definition of art as explained in the reading to a degree. I believe the definition is changing with the whole digital age we live in. A drawing isn’t the same thing as you can do it by hand or computer. Is that the same thing? Yes and No. The process of creating is slowly fading away with the use of computers.

I would add to the definition “or with the aid of a computer or other digital device”.


I agree with most of the definition, I myself enjoy how art makes me feel and what it brings out in me, my imagination, my thoughts and feelings be it like or dislike


I have decided just not to try and define art. Just as I attempt to get a handle on what art is, there is something new to me that I had not thought of, that I had not considered. I have instead decided to make art a continuum in my mind. On one hand are the things that are visual but have little meaning in my life, such as a greeting card cover, then continuing to the other side to visual things that have touched me greatly. I find freedom in not being concerned with if it is art, but instead where I would fit it in my scale. I find some things not human made, or made be chance that touch m

However, I have profound respect for historical significant art work, things that reflect a certain time or thought. I manage to stick these into my framework, so I guess I am evaluating things in some way. I just like it better to spend more time thinking about the significance of something than being too concerned about if it is art.


I think this is the wrong question to ask. A child draws on a paper and what else would we call it but art. We see something we hate in a museum or gallery, but it is still art. What else would we call it? The question should be is it significant art? Maybe I just accept everything as art but then ask does it have any significance to me or to others of my culture, or did it have significance in another time or place or does it have significance to the artist or the viewer.


I am interested in the point you made about creating fading away with the use of computers as I have always thought computers add to the creative process in so many ways. Is your point that we can now find things such as clip art that we just tack on to things so we don’t have to think about them, or that we use computers in mundane ways? I think this is an interesting point and would like to understand it better.


Art is the way of expressing human imaginations and creativity. It can be in the form of Painting, Drawing, Sketching, Poem or Designing. This is what i think ART is.

I just love arts. It make ones life colourful. I made different posters for kids, I love drawing dress sketches i am interested in fashion designing which is one of the branches of art. I make different projects and crafts for arts not just one thing. I use different kinds of arts which include painting, drawing, dance, calligraphy, and mainly recycling art.


The passage that stood out for me in the definition provided was that “Visual art is a rich and complex subject whose definition is in flux as the culture around it changes.” While I agree in general with the definition, I think this statement best encapsulates the meaning of art in that it is so deeply rooted in the particular context in which it is created. Clearly, great art need not be beautiful or aesthetically pleasing. Some of the most moving art is not pretty! Searching for an aesthetic definition therefore, is very difficult. Rather, we should focus on how particular mediums of expression are tied to the particular cultures and historical moments that produced them.


Awesome choice of medium


Reflect on the following discussion prompt. If you wish, please post your thoughts on Saylor’s Discourse forum. Leave a reply to your classmates’ posts as well!
Do you agree with the definition for ‘art’ as it’s explained in the reading above? Why or why not? Can you add to the definition? Is your definition coming from a subjective or objective perspective?

I totally agree with the given definition of what art is. Why do I? Because it gives a definite and brief overlook for what art is and should. No I cannot add to the definition. It is from subjective


This is really good. I agree with your ideology.


I agree with the definition of ‘art’ as it’s explained in the reading above. Everyone has a different definition of art. However, art is uniquely human and tied directly to culture. It takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. Art is an expression. Not everyone can have a definition for art because art is only one thing. Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.


I agree that art is reflective. I believe that art is a medium that stimulates self reflection. Whether you like a given work of art, be it a painting, a piece of music, or something else depends on your perspective, and is a reflection of your inner self. A true work of art will stimulate feelings such as joy, sadness, confusion, depending on who you are, and where you are in the journey we call life.


I still see art as visual expression. It may have something to do with my age.


Discussion Topic 2: In general, I’d say I agree with the dictionary definition given in the reading. Sort of . . . . I mean as a sort of explanation of art in a general kind of way. But really, how you define art is largely a matter of how you define it’s origin and its effect. Saying that art must involve the use of skill rules out, in my opinion, Jackson Pollock, and saying that it involves creative imagination definitely rules out many of the “artists” that design mass market paperback covers.

Art, I think, is rather like life in this way. It’s too broad a subject to define properly.

  • Do you agree with the definition for ‘art’ as it’s explained in the reading above? Why or why not? Can you add to the definition? Is your definition coming from a subjective or objective perspective?

While I do agree to the definitions of art from the reading, in part, I feel they do not satisfactorily encompass all of what art is. The reading tells us “Webster’s New Collegiate dictionary defines art as “The conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.”, and while true art does involve the use of particular skills combined with imagination to produce aesthetic objects, this is a very basic and rudimentary definition. It doesn’t allow for the passion, the emotion, and the little bits of their soul an artist places into their work. It doesn’t allow for the living breathing entity a piece can become. Would anyone call the Mona Lisa simply an “aesthetic object”? No, of course not, a work that has sparked the imaginations of countless generations and coined phrases such as “a Mona Lisa smile” are no longer merely objects, they are alive, they breathe, they change depending on where we are in life and what we are experiencing at the moment we view them, they touch our souls and make us think and feel. They have the ability to change who we are at our core, when we find a piece we truly connect with or that challenges our beliefs.

The definition from the reading which is proposed from the line in Joseph Brodsky’s poem “New Life”, “Ultimately, one’s unbound / curiosity about these empty zones, / about these objectless vistas, / is what art seems to be all about.” is getting closer to the heart of the matter, but again it’s not, for me at least, a complete definition. The poem speaks to the possibilities art represents and yes, the blank canvas, or paper, or lump of clay in its current unadulterated state as an “empty zone” and “objectless vista” does represent the infinite possibilities of creation, however art is not simply about filling blank spaces. I believe the last definition in the reading comes the closest to embracing the core of what art is. “Art is uniquely human and tied directly to culture. It takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. It asks questions about who we are, what we value, the meaning of beauty and the human condition. As an expressive medium it allows us to experience sublime joy, deep sorrow, confusion and clarity. It tests our strengths, vulnerabilities and resolve. It gives voice to ideas and feelings, connects us to the past, reflects the present and anticipates the future.”

What I would add to the definition of art is this: art is about filling a need, either internal or external. It’s cathartic, and therapeutic, it’s beautiful and horrible, it exposes to the light of day both the ugliest flaws and most beautiful aspects of what makes us human and mostly, it connects us to each other. For instance, two strangers meet in a gallery, but both couldn’t be more different. One comes from an affluent family and has never wanted for material items, the other has always lived hand to mouth, struggling for every dime they’ve ever earned. They stand together next to a painting representing the loss of a child and both begin to cry, they realize they share an experience that ties them together and that maybe they aren’t so different after all. To me art is about breaking down barriers, it’s about the shared human experience. To me, the true definition of art is humanity, and humanity is defined in art.

I believe my definition is coming from a mix of subjective and objective perspectives. Subjective in that I tend to be very emotionally aware, perhaps even empathetic, so everything I experience, including art comes from a feeling place, but also objective in that the fact is art does break down barriers. When Gorbachev first allowed rock musicians behind the Iron Curtain it was the beginning of the end of the Cold War, art brought together the masses in ways countless political negotiations never managed to and yes while the music of the Beatles and Billy Joel isn’t visual art per se, it’s still art and it comes from the same place within us. Art no matter what form it arrives in connects humanity, there’s no subjectivity about that.


Do you agree with the definition for ‘art’ as it’s explained in the reading above? Why or why not? Can you add to the definition? Is your definition coming from a subjective or objective perspective?

Yes, I agree with the definition of art in the reading. I would also add that art is an expression of the artist through creative thinking and thought process embedded with meaning. There are varied opinions about what art is and what it is not. For example, I don’t think all photographs can be classified as work of art because the intention of the photographer when making a photograph plays a major role in determining if such work would be classified as art or not. My perspective on this is subjective.


So you tend toward a more subjective view then? I tend to find myself able to look at a piece of art from an objective perspective, admiring the craftsmanship that may go into a piece of art, whether it is to my taste or not, and yet I can usually recognize what it is about the piece that has merit, what is lacking and why I can or can not connect with the piece on a personal level rather than just an academic level.

Allot of it goes to their definition and the cultural biases that inform our world view. No matter how much we can look at a piece objectively and divorce ourselves from the cultural biases to recognize the values aesthetics, line, form, and meanings of a piece, we can never fully extricate our own preferences shaped by our own experiences from how we interpret, respond to, and interact with art.


I really like the definitions that the reading listed for this lesson. For me, “art” is a feeling and/or a vision that the artist brings forth out of their mind, making the feeling or vision come into some type of substance in reality that can be seen, felt, touched, heard etc. by his or her audience. It is a way for the artist to share what is inside him or herself with the world at large, whether it be beautiful, simplistic, touching, painful, or scary.


I agree with the definition of art in the reading because it gives us a brief preview of what art is. I couldn’t add more because the given definition already did. :slight_smile:


I agree to me art should capture the beauty and joy of the subject. As far as emotion that is up to the eye of the person viewing the art.