Question 8: What is the Purpose of Art?


Art. What a broad term. For many, the term art refers to mostly to paintings, sculptures, and sometimes collages. But for me personally, art can refer to both visual and performance arts. What do I mean? Visual arts are what people typically describe as art; that is anything that you make with your hands. Some commonly overlooked visual arts include printmaking, sewing, and photography. On the other end you have performance art; that could be theater, spoken word, singing, or dancing. Why am I describing this? Well for one, I am a performer; so in order to talk about art I like to make sure it includes performing. But I also feel that in order to describe the purpose of art, you need to make sure that you are aware of what art is. 

To me art has many purposes; one of the most prominent is to express. All art is an expression of either an emotion, a time period, or a person. Van Gough’s Starry Night is his expression of the night. While Jonathan Lawson wrote Rent,to express not only the time period but the emotion of love. It is through the fact that they express such a strong idea that they are widely appreciated as great works of art. 

But in order for art to truly be great, it has to evoke an emotion. So perhaps a purpose of art to create emotion. For example, the covers of Time Magazine are a form of art, and they typically produce an emotion. Not only does this sell the magazine, but it makes you appreciate the picture or design on the cover. As for a performance art example; think of your favorite band. Do their songs evoke emotion in you? Most people would say yes. Art is meant to make you feel something; though it may not always be a positive feeling, it will be something. 

Part of the greatness of art is that it can encompass both of these purposes. By the artist expressing something, the viewer is able to have an emotion towards it. Next time you see a piece of art ( it could be at a museum or it could just be the next movie you watch) I challenge you to first look for what the artist could be expressing, and then ask yourself what emotion you are feeling because of it. 

Now of course these are just my thoughts on the purpose of art. What are yours? What do you think the purpose of art is? Post it as a comment! Share it on Facebook! Tell the world what you think the purpose of art is! 




One response »

  1. Reblogged this on Coming Alive and commented:
    My daughter has really inspired me to reconnect this summer by revisiting her blog, The Neverland Effect. She is delving into more of the questions from Rain Wilson’s book, Soul Pancake, encouraging readers to join her in the conversation. If this isn’t a “Coming Alive” moment then I am not sure what is!

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