Wk 13 — Essay 2 — Art!

Charlie Valles
4 min readNov 26, 2020

At the beginning of the semester, I was asked, “What is art?” and I probably would have replied with “anything.” That answer isn’t necessarily wrong, but it’s so broad and shallow, not specific enough. Of course, art is everything around us. From buildings to graffiti along a brick wall, but art is much more than just nouns. Art is getting out of your comfort zone and placing yourself outside the (for some) small box you live in. When you post your art for 100’s of people to see, it leaves you vulnerable to critique but also support. Art is being vulnerable and open to other people’s opinions of you because it is an extension of yourself. In a physical sense, Art is and will always be drawings, paintings, and anything from a pen to paper. But I forget that sidewalks, buildings, and all the structures around me are art. We are just so socialized that buildings are nothing more than that. For example, The Terrace Theater is a building. But the cathedral seating and acoustics are purposely implemented into the building. At this point, “Art” sounds like a lot of things. It is an enormous spectrum of things, feelings, and actions that cannot be summarized. By the end of this semester, I realized that art is not just “anything,” but is nouns, verbs, and adjectives made with intent. “Ok, what does that mean?” When a dancer leaps across the stage, they intend on making the crowd feel a specific way. If I draw the sky filled with comets, I intend on making the viewer feel enchanted or mystified. When a cathedral is created, the concave ceiling is intentionally placed to boost acoustics. In summary, Art is intent. We feel what the artist feels and we connect on a deeper level since art is much more than “anything.”

Furthermore, My major is Nursing and I would love to become a Neonatal Nurse. As one of the hardest majors on campus, Nursing has been a longtime dream for me and I can’t wait to complete my academic journey. Although Nursing is not an “art heavy” major, they use diagrams, charts, and datasets. Creating efficient datasheets and spreads is beneficial since Nurses would be able to perform their many jobs more efficiently, so there is some application of art forms.

Art enriches my life in many ways. The music I listen to could be deemed “art” so if it just disappeared, the world would become a significantly more boring place. In high school, I took five years of choir and two years of dance which were some of the best years of my life. I could not begin to imagine if performing arts did not exist since it brought me friendships and lessons. Art pleasures for me consist of record collecting and acquiring every color of stationary I possibly can. Even stagnant pieces like oil paintings or digital art help increase my serotonin when I feel depressed or not wanting to get out of bed. Websites like Pinterest and Etsy introduce me to new forms of art and ideas that I have never thought of before. Recycling is a new art form I did not know existed and it was refreshing to see what creators make from a bag of plastic bottles. I do not own many “Art” things, but the things I do own like painting supplies and records, bring me a lot of joy.

Regarding the saying of “a great nation deserves great art,” there would be one critique I have. Our nation is not “great” in a plethora of ways. In our current climate, society is filled with unstoppable president supporters, and inequality apparent in the forms of wage gaps, poverty, and racism. Great nations deserve art, but our nation is not great. To put it simply, I agree with the slogan. Art is a beautiful thing or feeling that should be shared but only with those who are open and great.

As this semester comes to a close, I’m going to miss coming to the lecture every Monday. I’m going to miss the wacky background and wigs that students wore and the atmosphere that was created in an online environment. The projects that we completed every week and the essays that felt stressful at the moment, but ended up being sort of fun by the end. But above all, I will 100% miss Dr.Zucman. He is the most fun, whimsical, but stern professor I’ve ever met. Art became more than just pieces of paper in his class. We made vlogs, communicated with classmates (which felt impossible), and critiques other people’s exhibitions. I would become an art major if he taught every single one of my classes. I can’t believe it came to a close so fast. The most important lesson I will be taking with me is to not be so hard on myself. I’m a perfectionist but it felt like the more I try, the worse I performed. I learned that I need to be loose and quite literally go with the flow. I will miss you, Art 110.

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Charlie Valles

I dont know anything about art, but yeah. Stick Figures anyone?