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Discovering Art – Discovery

Part 6 of 6 I suggested that artists give their work to the public who instinctively begin interpreting. This left us with a question: how can we interpret correctly? There is a closet full of meaning and there are many ways to access it, but I hope simply to offer you a key that unlocks the door. Once you figure the lock and turn the knob, most everything will tumble out. But before you take the keys, we n ...

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Discovering Art – Towards a Product

How far have we come? We found that artists create in a context, with a medium, moving through a process. But where to? Towards a product - the completed piece of artwork. What is this finished creation? It is a gift. Artists create a work that they give to the public. This is risky; and our reception is ruptured with problems. Let’s talk buildings. Architecture is a robust art form. It functions practicall ...

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Keep Calm and Pinterest On

Brides, fancy homes, pies Mmm Shirtless Ryan Gosling Pinning is winning -anonymous Five minutes before I needed to leave, I finished styling my hair and stepped into my roommate’s room for her final approval of my clothes, boots, etc. She paused the show she was watching on her laptop to take in my entire look, smiling approvingly as she said, “I’d pin that!” This time a year ago, I might have blushed in co ...

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Spaces that Make Us

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” -Winston Churchill After a long day of interviewing countless new architecture-school graduates, my dad, who is principal of a medium-sized, but award-winning firm in South Texas, told me a story about one of the candidates. “I love the new student center,” he recalled a bright-eyed architecture student raving. “When I’m in it, I feel happy – and I look ar ...

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Discovering Art – Through a Process

Part 4 of 6 There is a myth, popularized by nonartists and believed by some artists, that creating is easy. They gape at performing musicians and say, “They make it look so easy!” What I think they actually mean is, “Look! It is easy, for them.” I want to squash this myth. Why? For one, it supports the temptation to quit creating when your artistic efforts are not fluid. That is, it discourages the already ...

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Discovering Art – with a Medium

Part 3 of 6 What is a medium? Broadly speaking, it is the stuff we create with - the means, resources, materials and tools with which we make art. For a musician, instruments; for a poet, words; for the sculptor, chisel and stone. On the one hand, artists cherish their medium. This is evident when they call their guitar “baby”, and every jam session becomes a tryst. On the other hand, artists are frustrated ...

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Discovering Art – in a Context

Part 2 of 6 I took a snapshot of the art population. But when you see artists, where are they? Artists are in a context. Context is a pregnant term, and I will use it broadly as the time and place, the world, the situation within which the artist creates. I want you to appreciate the context when interacting with art. Ignoring it hinders our understanding of the artist and their work. For example, you see a ...

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Typography and Friendship

The elves who run Wikipedia define typography as “the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible.” I looked at a number of sources[tip direction="s" text="That number is 4"]1[/tip] for this definition and I actually liked this one best. Describing typography as the means that “makes language visible” resonates with my love of language. When I read something that moves me, it’s usu ...

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Discovering Art – Artists

Part 1 of 6 Who populates the artistic world? Artists, at least. But what types of artists? How do they relate? And what do they have in common? I will expound upon the population that I have encountered and suggest a common citizen. But first, we must go to Japan. In 1635 Japan closed contact with the outside world. I like to imagine 1001 samurai lining the country’s perimeter, crouching and vigilant, root ...

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Discovering Art – Introduction

I do not mean to mislead you with the title Discovering Art. You may think I know what art is and plan to say something new on the subject; I plan to do much less. If I were to say anything new about art, I would begin by answering the question, “What is Art?” But the truth is, I cannot answer that question, not with any confidence. There are already three books with that title, one authored by a prolific a ...

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