February 26, 2020 - Lethbridge Sun Times/Shopper - page 26 THE ARTS What are ‘the arts’? Submitted by the Allied Arts Council

composing an aria? According to the

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Oxford Dictionary, art is the “expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in the visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” The second definition of art is expanded and includes “the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.” The arts are more broadly defined and includes a wide array of creative activity.

Varying sources attempt to classify the

arts — these range from four to seven categories. For this article, we will not focus on the number of categories, but the activity occurring within the category. Visual arts include architecture, ceramics, conceptual art, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture. Literary arts include prose (fiction and non-fiction), drama and poetry. Comics, the combination of drawing or other visual arts and writing, are also included in the literary category. Performing arts include dance, music, theatre and other forms which include human performance is the primary product.

Multidisciplinary arts encompasses more than one discipline. Examples of

hat is art? What are “the arts”? What does it mean to be an artist? Are you making sandwiches? Or are you

multidisciplinary arts are opera and musical theatre; these disciplines require the assistance of set designers, costume designers, musicians, visual artists, theatre performers, sound and lighting designers, and other supportive artistic workers. With the introduction of moving pictures during the early 1900s, there was a natural progression of this multidisciplinary art form into cinema and filmmaking, which in turn, has its own unique set of artists. Multidisciplinary art also can incorporate other disciplines of art to create new works. Other categories of

art include applied arts — these are the application of design

and decoration to every day, functional objects to make them pleasing, including industrial design, illustration and commercial art. Culinary arts is the art of preparation, cooking and presentation of food. The common link between all these art

forms listed above is the creative skill and imagination of the human. Many would disagree with the definition from Oxford that art is created to be “appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” The arts touch our lives in so many meaningful ways. These are mediums in which humans can express themselves, tell stories, comment on society and societal issues around them, or simply, a means of connecting with other humans. The arts are an integral part of the human race; every culture expresses its self through the arts.

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