Academic Discipline, There Is a Difference Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1953 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Art  (general)

¶ … academic discipline, there is a difference between theory and practice. One of the areas in which this difference is most apparent is in the visual arts. For example, an art history class is vastly different from an art studio class. While students in a studio class might mimic their mentors or favorite artists, ultimately the creations that studio artists make are wholly unique. Furthermore, the process of creating artwork in the studio involves materials and media that are only talked about in an art history class. On the other hand, the study of visual art expressions as they have manifested throughout different cultures and human history is an intellectual discipline that relies heavily on reading, writing, and critical analysis. Therefore, art history and art studio practice are two entirely different subjects because of their different approaches to art (pre-thesis). Art and art history are areas of study that can and do lead to vastly different professional opportunities and personal roles. Being an artist is a challenging career that, while rewarding personally and socially, rarely leads to financial success or personal recognition (thesis). Because many visual artists cannot make a living through their artwork, studying art history is a more practical and reasonable tract for the future. Art history opens doors to many different careers, from being a professor to being a curator, from being a gallery owner to being an art critic. Becoming an art historian is an attractive and rewarding future vision because art history involves intellectual stimulation; social stimulation; and financial security (thesis statement).

TOPIC: Term Paper on Academic Discipline, There Is a Difference Between Assignment

One of the reasons individuals are attracted to the study of art history is because it involves a high degree of intellectual stimulation and critical thinking. On the other hand, creating art in the studio is not an intellectual activity; art is an instinctual and almost emotional act. For example, an art history class can focus on a specific artistic style, such as Impressionism, or a particular time period, such as the Renaissance and through the academic readings, lectures, discussions, and debates, the student learns to formulate opinions about each individual style, artist, and technique. The process is as analytical as comparing two authors or two epic poems. However, a student sitting behind his or her canvas with charcoal in hand is more likely to enjoy the process of creation without intellectualism or excess analysis. The process of creating art in the studio is a rewarding exercise, but one that definitely does not involve academic rigors, critical analysis, or intellectual stimuli.

Studying art history is a multidisciplinary scholastic endeavor that has a lot more academic reward to offer a student than the study of studio art does. For instance, studying the old masters in an art history class involves learning about the artists' historical epoch, culture, personal lives, and professional influences. Through the study of art history, a student can see how politics, family, and culture interact and influence the artist. The art historian combines knowledge of psychology, sociology, history, religion, culture, and politics and fuses them all. For example, a student might learn that Picasso's large masterpiece "Guernica" was the artist's reaction to the Spanish Civil War. The result is a potentially rewarding academic and professional career in the future. If, on the other hand, a student only creates art in the studio without being aware of the historical and social contexts of art, then the creative process could easily become meaningless and self-centered. Making art relies mainly on the mastery of technique and material, not on social, historical, or political context. Although artists often study art history to influence and guide their practice, their instructors usually guide their hands and intuition more than their minds. Therefore, art history offers more intellectual stimulation than studio art, which is a more hands-on form of work.

One example of the way art history offers far more intellectual stimuli than studio art does is through the study of a particular visual art medium. An art historian will examine the ways in which various artists throughout time have used a medium like oil painting. Through this examination, the student will learn that the Renaissance masters blended their paints a certain way, used a certain number of pigments, and derived their pigments from various sources. Moreover, a student of art history will also learn about the different techniques of oil painting in order to be able to distinguish between a Rembrant and a Van Gogh or between two different periods in an artist's career. The process of learning about a visual art medium in art history is far different from learning about how to use that same visual art medium in the studio. For instance, a studio artist will examine the ways that oil paint works to enhance his or her particular style or talent. The oil paint, for the studio artist, is a tool, no different from a computer: a tool that enables the artist to express him- or herself.

Art history offers an array of possibilities for future social growth, development, and networking, whereas studio art can often be a solitary career. Through a course of study in art history, a student interacts with other students, with the professor, and indirectly, with the authors of various essays, books, and art history texts. Furthermore, when the student is ready to explore career options, he or she must network with academic advisors and learn about options for community service, volunteer work, or internships. For example, a student of art history might find part-time work at a local museum. Working at a museum introduces the student to art history professionals, to fellow students, and to the general public. A studio art course, on the other hand, is more solitary. The student works diligently on his or her projects and usually only asks for advice from the instructor or a select few friends. The only type of social exposure that a studio artist receives is through various openings or presentations.

The possible future for a student of art history is more socially active and exciting than the possible future for a student of studio art. The art history student can meet with classmates in a study group format, thereby making new friends. Because art history students need to write essays and term papers about art history, they may also need to seek writing tips and advice from fellow students, professors, or writing tutors. Therefore, an art history major interacts with a wide range of people in ways that he or she might never have done confined to the art studio. The studio artist develops his or her talents mainly alone, albeit with the guidance of the instructor. For example, the studio artist stays up all night working on the final touches of a sculpture project, not speaking to a single soul, at the same time that the art history student stays up all night brainstorming with a classmate.

Art history offers a more socially rich future than studio art after graduation from college too. For example, an art history major might be interested in becoming a professor and will then enter graduate school. While in graduate school, the student will also become actively engaged in the art history department and meet frequently with other students and academic advisors. Internship opportunities will introduce the student to even more people of a like mind. Whether the art history student hopes to become a museum curator or an art critic, he or she will continually interact with other people in the art or academic world. A studio artist, however, works alone most of the time. The nature of artistic creation is introspection and solitude, not social engagements. While the studio artist might attend parties and social functions and will occasionally have an art opening, such social activities are not integral to their work. Thus, the future of the studio artist is solitary and quiet, whereas the future of the art historian might be vibrant, worldly, and socially stimulating.

In addition to offering a socially and intellectually stimulating possible future, a career in art history offers far more financial security than a career in the visual arts. A career in art history opens up innumerable doorways. For example, the graduate can become an instructor at the high school or university level; can write books and articles; can become a modern art critic; can produce films or documentaries on important art figures or time periods; can work in museums or art galleries. Whichever particular path the art historian takes, he or she enjoys a pleasurable career with relatively good remuneration. On the other hand, the visual artist usually has to earn money by working in jobs that are ancillary to his or her creative work. Because few pieces of art actually sell, and because few artists can actually make a living directly through the production of paintings or sculptures, the possible future of a studio artist is financially insecure and potentially unrewarding.

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