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Jessica Trester

Aesthetics
In class essay one
What is the value of art?
Throughout the semester so far we have discussed multiple
philosophers and what they consider to be art. I have always had an idea of
what art is and why it was important to me. Doing the reading on the
philosophers and learning about what they consider art didnt change what
art is to me, rather in improved what I thought. Coming into this class I
believed that are was a form of expression and it was important to me
because I could use it as a mean to express what I couldnt through words.
Art is for the person who is creating it just as much as it is for the
person viewing it. It is for the creator because it is how they may get their
feelings out. It also gives them a chance to show a part of history from their
perspective. When we went to the MFA and saw the painting of the slave ship
in a storm on the water, there were arms, legs, and chains floating in the
water. The artist who painted this wanted to show that part of history. When
looking at it I was able to put myself in that time period. People were thrown
off of the ship to make it lighter. It made me try to imagine what it must have
felt like to be one of the people who were thrown to their death. For that
reason it is how it is also for the viewer.
It is important that art shows the emotion in which the artist is
feeling. From works of art that I have looked at (paintings, drawings, etc.)
more often than not the colors are darker or the content is darker when the
artist is trying to express a negative emotion. When it comes to art that can

be listened to, the emotion can be heard in either the lyrics or through the
scale used. In the music that was shown to us in class, Bla Bartk String
Quartet No. 4 in C major, you could hear that there was some disruption
accruing. It reminded me of Tom and Jerry when Tom would chase Jerry
around. Although when music does not have lyrics it is slightly harder to tell
what actually is going on and what the artist was feeling when they wrote
the piece. In some cases the artist will use music and lyrics to show what
they are feeling. I can think of many examples of this. One example is from
P!nk, she uses her songs to get her message across. In 2006 she released a
song called Dear Mr. President, although she does not actually use his name
this song was aimed toward President Bush. In this song she is singing about
the struggles that the average person face and is asking the president how
he can let things like this happen. She tries to talk to him as if he is a normal
person again and he did not have any power over the people. Another song
that she shows a lot of emotion in is, Beam Me Up. She wrote this song after
experiencing a miscarriage. Again she doesnt come out in the song but you
can tell that is about the loss of a loved one. The tempo of this song is slower
than most of her others songs. Through all of her songs she is showing some
emotion and is often trying to empower her fans and tell them that they are
better than what society is trying to make them believe. Another artist of
todays time that does this is Avril Lavigne. In Sk8r Boi, she sings about how
a girl blew off a guy who she liked because her friends did not approve of
him and how he has since become famous. When I was younger I just

thought the song was catchy, but by getting older and learning certain things
the message I got from this song has changed. Now, I see this song as an
empowering song that is telling girls not to worry about what people think
about you because you may come out on top and they will be sitting there
wishing that they still had you in their life.
As much as visual art is important to me and speaks to me it is the
performing arts that speak to me a lot more. The value of art to me is the
ability to escape from reality for a little bit. Music and watching plays allow
me to do this much more easily than paintings do. From my person
experience with music and art I feel like it fits with what Burke was saying
with pain and pleasure. In Burkes essay he wrote, pain and pleasure in
their simple and most natural manner of affecting, are each of a positive
nature, and by no means necessarily dependent on each other for their
existence. Although he is not saying that pain and pleasure have an effect
on each other he is saying that they dont always but sometimes do. I have
struggles and challenges that cause me pain but certain music brings me
pleasure. Listening to the music doesnt ride me of the pain I feel but it gives
me an escape from my reality for a little bit and allows me to feel pleasure.
If something is art if it makes the viewer feel something than art
would be everywhere. In my opinion this is where Parker and Pollocks essay
fits in. In the essay it said that if something had a purpose it was no longer
art. I agree that if something has a purpose that it is not art in some cases.
When it comes to nature I believe that is the case most of the time. However,

there are times when people put a lot of work into their gardens that it can
be art, but if a tree or a cloud makes someone feel something then it should
not be considered art. Parker and Pollocks also stated that art and craft
were two different categories. Art was made for viewing and was mostly
done by men. Crafts were done by women. When women first tried to
branch away from craft and do art men claimed that the flower painting that
they were doing helped women fulfill their feminine nature. Because of this
flower painting was no longer considered art and women were back to only
doing craft.
Art is art if it is showing emotion. If the person who created the art
trying to portray a certain emotion and a person who is viewing it does not
feel the same emotion as the creator it is still art. But art is also art if it was
used to show a time in the persons life.

Possible
States own position
clearly and creates
convincing arguments
for it
Graham understood
and used to good
effect in support or
contrast to own
position
Three other readings
understood and
used to good effect in
support or contrast to
own position

Your introduction and conclusion state your own


position clearly. The arguments relating to your own
experiences with individual works are good. But
support from the readings isnt used effectively for
your argument.
Grahams framework for pleasure and expression as
values for art, even though he thinks the cognitive
benefits are more important, would be useful to
reference in your argument about your own thinking.
He is omitted entirely from the essay.
You only reference two specifically, Burke and Parker
and Pollock. In many ways they arent the most useful
for your position. Why, since you focus on emotion,
are Tolstoy and Collingwood not of relevance?

Your
score
14/15

5/10

8/15

Specific examples of
artworks are used to
apply ideas and
demonstrate how
they work

This element is very effectively employed.

Length One point off


for each 25 wds
below 900
Total

OK

10/10

37/50 C