Friday, June 23, 2006

David and Art

David is back from his trip to the Glass Art Society conference in St. Louis, and he had a great time. One day there was a presentation by a professor from the glass art program at the University of Sunderland in Newcastle, England. David says they have fabulous facilities and it would take him just two years to get his B.F.A. because of his credits from Sheridan. He’d like to go this fall, but he’s already been hired as a teaching assistant for Sheridan’s glass art program starting in September.
David and I had one of our marathon talks the other day in the back garden. It began as usual with personal issues and then shifted into a long discussion about aesthetics. So far we’ve come up with five different approaches to making art:
Decorative: embellishing and beautifying people and their environments.
Informative: providing information or directions.
Technique-based: dedication to mastering techniques and honing skills.
Spontaneous: expressing feelings through the expression of art.
Conceptual: art based on exploring, experimenting with and developing ideas.
Of course these different approaches to art making do blend into each other. For example, a craftsperson may utilize various techniques in order to create a decorative object like a bowl.
Both David and I agreed the approach that interests us most is the conceptual. To me, art is all about ideas. New techniques only appeal to me insofar as I think they will help me to my idea across.
David describes his work as “primitive.” But I think a better word for it would be “elemental,” since he’s drawn to certain basic shapes and forms – like bricks – that are central to our experience.
But conceptual art doesn’t have to be dry and cerebral. David met a glass artist in St. Louis who is blending the history of art with the history of bowling. I’d sure like to see what she’s doing with that because it not only sounds improbable, but hilarious, which is probably the point of it all.

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