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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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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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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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