1. What is art?
2. What is art for?
Both questions were difficult to answer. The first one had to do with defining characteristics of art. If a person says that something is ART, what makes it so? Answers varied but most had to do with visual appeal, skill or style of the artist, creativity and imagination, and expressing emotion or feeling. A few students said "Anything can be art!"
Finally, we looked at some artworks that one might question their "artness." Students had to decide - YES it's art, NO it's not art, or MAYBE it's art - and then had to be willing to share with the class what specific criteria made something art or not art.
Here are a few of the images that we analyzed:
There were convincing arguments on both sides for each artwork. The most reassuring part of the discussion was that each student could support their opinion in all cases. Students were thinking for themselves and speaking clearly about their beliefs.
Art Teacher Win.