On Arts Schools

Just wanted to post a quick thought here.

I’ve been in an arts high school; notice I say ‘arts’ and not ‘art’ because we mean all the art forms, like dance, music, theater and the visual arts.  And I’m taking a Fine Arts course now for college.

I’ve had, and still have, classmates who complain about how we’re not being taught how to draw or paint or what have you.  And here I am going, “well, if all you wanted to learn is how to draw, then you didn’t need to come to an arts school for that…”  There are so many ways people can learn to draw and paint and do whatever it is we artists do – online videos, workshops, going to exhibitions and observing and experimenting on your own.  If you go to an arts school, it should be noted that you already know how to draw, that you already know what to do.  Because in arts school, they won’t teach you how to do shit, they teach you what to do with the skills you have.

Here’s another example.  I took violin lessons – had good and great teachers.  I’ve recently observed that they never taught me how to play the music.  They just taught me how to play the instrument, and how to read notes.  I figured out how to feel and play the music myself.  No one can teach you that.  Same probably goes for those who are in the theater, and in dance.  They didn’t ask their teachers or mentors how to emote and move expressively.  Sad face to them may be angry face to others, ya know?

I think what those classmates of mine didn’t get is that arts is something that comes from you, your experiences, and your observations.  The essence of art can’t be taught because it’s different for everyone.  And an artist’s job is to help the world see what they see.

Cheers,

Agnes

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