The Meaning of Art

What is the meaning of art? This is the primary question asked of many AP Art students. Each answer is very different from another, but the simple response  that stood out the most was when Nastia Lychuk (12) said “It’s a creative outlet.” For students to be able to let loose throughout the day is important with the stress that is dealt with at school. 

Nastia continued on to say that  “Art is an important part of school and should be engaged more. It’s a creative outlet and can help you in other classes. With pressure on social media and technology, it’s important to detach from phones and computers and express yourself through art.” She emphasized that “The art teachers are wonderful and the programs would benefit highly from more funding. It’s a safe and welcoming environment and more students should consider taking art programs.”

When researching art, many paintings and drawings come up, but let’s be honest: Mona Lisa is the most well-known. However, the meaning of this painting is deeper than its recognizable surface. The whole point of the Mona Lisa was the representation of happiness that Leonardo da Vinci captured. The piece portrays Francesco del Giocondo’s wife, and Giocondo in Italian means “happiness.” When analyzing the painting of Mona Lisa, you will see that she has a  faint smile that represents happiness, and there are pathways in the landscape that are curved, representing human presence. On the whole, the painting represents humanity and nature. Many people are taught that art is just a hobby with no meaning, but in reality, it is a deeply personal expression that conveys emotion.  That is why the impactful Mona Lisa piece has stood the test of time. 

Mr. Chamberlain, one of the AP Art teachers, helps students to express the meaning of their work through the materials that are used. It’s one of the struggles many students have with finding the purpose of watercolor, acrylic paint, or even chalk. What would art be if there were no struggles? Art students claim that their craft is not just a hobby: it’s hard work and dedication to pieces built upon layers of meaning, whether universal or personal. Each aspect of a painting represents something in the overall purpose or theme of the artwork. 

Overall, art classes are a way for students to unleash their creativity and embed feelings into their pieces. Many students encourage others to join art more often because it’s a calm and welcoming environment for all students, as well as a non-judgemental space. 

Gage Dinges (12) believes that “All students should take an art class because it is a way for others to create things that make them feel proud of themselves and take interest in a new hobby.” No one is the same, so that means no one’s art is the same.  Art students are thus able to express themselves in a way that feels genuine and right.

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