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Laura Rivers

October 25, 2009


Intro to Speech
All glory to God
A Work of Art
It is interesting when you look at the ‘Great Works of Art” displayed in museums
and such places. Sometimes when we look at these great paintings or figurines we
simply think “You call that a work of art?!”. Obviously we may have felt some empathy
when our teacher gave us an F in artwork even though our illustrations looked exactly
like those locked behind a safeguard glass case for show. But what else is there to art? Is
art just something we create to decorate our rooms and halls?
Art is not viewed by all as valuable treasure; however, it can not be denied that art
is an important aspect in our lives...and the humanity of man. It is historically
representative of our lives; it represents cultural heritage, and it is a creative imaginative
way to express one’s individuality. You will soon discover what is so special about this
creative, lovely, and special hobby.
Reformations and Revolutions are common throughout history; art is no
exception. Most likely you know of or have seen old paintings of our country’s first
presidents that seem to have a unique style. Then, as time goes on, paintings and oil
crayons on canvasses turns into photography...and all of this is art. “Different
movements fauvism, expressionism, cubism, surrealism and many other paved the
pathway of the artist and the modern artist belief in the freedom of expression”(Jennifer
Salerno).
Take, for instance, the Renaissance era: before this era most art was religious and
holy. If any painting depicted Christ, or a significant Christian figure, they were usually
larger then the other characters in the painting. But, during the Renaissance, depth,
perception, shadowing, and realistic visuals became popular in paintings. As the time of
science came and religious viewing went away, it was apparent in the artwork as well.
Art, it seems, is what captured throughout history all the changes our world went
through...from wars, to movements. So, historically art is important...and this also leads
us within history into each culture, and the art shown through each civilization and
government.
Throughout cultures all across the world, each has its own individual government.
Rules, traditions, literature...but have you ever noticed how the art in each culture defines
itself, and represents that society? For instance, an African American tribe, the Boa, are
known principally for their masks. These intricately designed masks were mainly for
war, to enhance the warrior’s courage or to celebrate victories.
You may also be familiar with Egyptian art-you probably think of pyramids,
tombs, and great statues of man and creatures...well, this is all art! Most importantly to
the Egyptians, the pyramids and statues adorning the pyramids were most important.
They believed preserving the body was important so that the soul could live in the after
life. But, “The Egyptians held the belief that the preservation of the body was not
enough. If the likeness of the king was also preserved, it was doubly sure that he would
continue to exist forever. So they ordered sculptors to chisel the king's head out of hard,
imperishable granite, and put it in the tomb where no one saw it, there to work its spell
and to help his Soul to keep alive in and through the image. One Egyptian word for
sculptor was actually 'He-who-keeps-alive'.”( Ernst Hans Gombrich). The slaves of the
Egyptian king were centered on building those pyramids and creating the art that their
society believed kept kings alive.
Laura Rivers
October 25, 2009
Intro to Speech
All glory to God
So, when you look at these two completely different cultures, it is evident that art
was a significant part of their societies. Each mask, sculpture, pyramid...all reflected that
culture in some way. But what about those within that society? How would art be
important to those individuals, and in turn, to all who take part in it? Because, as you
will see, art is not just for each culture. It pertains to those within that culture.
Now, what do you see when you look at a painting? It can be as simple and
obvious as a beautiful sunset, or it could be a picture of a woman smiling softly (Mona
Lisa, for instance). Each person interprets the picture based on their feelings, beliefs, and
personality...which is the beauty of art! With art you can pour forth your very soul onto
anything to make it what you wish. People may either see art for what it is, or may find it
touch their very hearts in a way nothing else can...they can see that artists’ expression and
emotions pouring out for all to see. In a way, it is very humbling, to say the least, that a
simple piece of artwork may very well be that artist’s deepest, most personal feeling and
spirit. I quote, from Natalie Rogers, “I believe that we are all capable of being
profoundly, beautifully creative, whether we use that creativity in relationships, or
painting or writing...The seeds of much of our creativity come from the unconscious and
our feelings and intuition.”
(conclusion-Art, as you can see, has had a place in the humanity of man. It has a
history; it is what represents cultural heritage, and it is how one can express their
individuality. It affects the largest things, down to the smallest things. So, the next time
your teacher says to you harshly “You call that a piece of art?!”, remember, that art has
existed for all time, and is important to all of us.
Laura Rivers
October 25, 2009
Intro to Speech
All glory to God
http://www.life123.com/arts-culture/art-history/renaissance-art/early-renaissance-
art.shtml#STS=g16s9u24.12t5
reinassance art

http://www.zyama.com/boa/index.htm culture
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/E/egyptian.html Culture

http://www.nrogers.com/ExpressYourself.pdf expressing

http://www.articlesbase.com/art-articles/the-revolution-of-modern-art-in-the-timeline-of-
art-history-422614.html

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