Dear Students : A Note

I have been observing from a distance. I wanted to know what your ideas and thoughts on craft and art were without influence. I also find that it is an important discussion to have first with yourself, then to introduce new thoughts. What we see here is many of you will have arrived in two similar places:  Either Art and Craft are one and the same OR Art and Craft are inherently different in some way. Art and Craft both manipulate materials into new forms, are ideas manifest in physical form, require an investment of time, involve many layered processes to reach a finished product, are considered skilled work, use the formal elements (line, color, shape, texture, contrast, unity), and can involve personal and emotional expression. Craft and art, especially with new and contemporary forms, have started to blur the lines of distinction. Therefore it is possible for art objects and craft objects to have a function, exist as aesthetic objects meant to be admired, have a history of production, become part of the everyday and are accessible to all. Art and Craft need to be studied, both are a learned skill taught by instructors, mentors, or by oneself. They now sit side by side in galleries, museums, and outdoor art spaces/environments.

The distinction then lies in the intent of the artist. When they come to form their object/non-object object, is the intent for it to become an art object. The Italians were the first to define Art and art objects, they began a language for describing and setting standards for art objects. Then other European and American art galleries, museums, historians, lecturers, the academic elite were those who made this determination. Artists have slowly been working to break down the walls, blur the lines, give art back to the people. There exists now Fine Craft, Outsider Art, Street Art, Guerrilla Art, Temporal Art, and on and on, there are artists who have Art/Life practices. The definition is always changing and progressing to involve new genres, schools, styles, forms. My point being, every person and each institution will have established their own idea for what art is or is not. For the sake of this class, we must follow and agree to the language of the text. This does not mean to say that any one person is right, wrong, or that there is even a right or wrong. I encourage artists to make and make freely, but make from the uniqueness of you.

There may be good art, there may be bad art. There is art that is revolutionary, there is art that is derivative. But artists are not artist geniuses, this is a myth, there are only those who have dedicated their time, efforts and resources to expanding their knowledge and refining their practices; those who make art as a hobby, and those who live and breathe art. It is a study of the human experience, and therefore as richly layered and complicated as any person (or community of persons) could possibly be. This is my response to all your responses.


Ms. J

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