The Essence of Art and Its Beauty


Textile art created by students at ERHS

One of the most challenging and abstract questions to grace mankind’s quest for knowledge is “What exactly is art?”. Describing a form of expression that communicates ideas without words has proven to be an arduous task. In order to enhance both my own and Roosevelt’s understanding of art, I recently interviewed members of Roosevelt’s own Art Club and scoured through philosophical and psychological articles. Successfully defining art can lead to a heightened appreciation for art and can show why art is incredibly important to our society.

To find out what exactly art is, a good place to start is analyzing general definitions of art and combining them into a succinct idea. Beatriz Cardenas, a junior and avid attendee of Art Club meetings, describes art as “The pinnacle of human expression” with the ability to “communicate intimate feelings that words are incapable of encapsulating”. In this respect, art is an emotional means to an end in that it exists to speak where words are inadequate. Rafi Sayasa, another junior and member of the Art Club, agreed with Cardenas that art at its essence is the “ability to be able to express emotions on canvas through harnessing both your feelings and your imagination”. Sayasa essentially sees art as an emotional sailboat, a vessel guided by the wind of emotions and the waves of imagination on a voyage to articulate ineffable feelings. Converging these definitions displays that art at its core is the most effective form of intimate emotional expression through the utilization of creativity and passion. After defining art, I would want to figure out how Roosevelt exhibits art. Art Club currently has art pieces from this winter up at the Greenbelt Library, but in terms of opportunities to pursue art, Roosevelt has a variety of classes, from Repertory Dance to Studio Art Design to Digital Photography. There is an ocean of possibilities as far as art at Roosevelt is concerned. 

Computer Graphics 1 Digital Art by various students at ERHS

Now that we’ve constructed a definition of what art is, an important subsequent facet to completing this quest for knowledge is to identify what fundamentally makes art beautiful. According to George Mathers, a professor of experimental psychology, the idea of beauty itself is merely a psychological “contemplation where each mind perceives a different beauty”. Although beauty depends on the eye of the beholder, the answer to what makes art beautiful seemed to have a general consensus within the Art Club. Cardenas stated that, to her, the beauty of art comes from “The raw and unfiltered passion visible on the canvas” that “mirrors the mind of the artist”. Seniors Jenny Pham (Art Club’s President) and Duncan Mcintire agreed on an akin idea of beauty to Cardenas, Pham asserting that the beauty of art comes from “the feeling that the artist cared about their creation” and Mcintire adding that the beauty is furthered if there is “a sense that you, the viewer, have gotten something emotional out of it”. However, Sayasa went a step further by building upon this definition to describe art’s beauty as stemming from how “Its absence would lead to a gray world; a world without color”. This paramount detail that the world needs art to be complete was crucial to understanding art.


The final piece to complete this puzzle would be to acknowledge the importance of art in our world. On a scholastic level, Pham noted that “Illustrations in science textbooks combined science and art in a way that communicated information in a way words couldn’t on their own”. Cardenas described that a society without art is a society “destined to be dull with no room for innovation or creativity”. Through these answers, I can conclude that art is a fundamental building block to upholding innovation, creativity, and abstract expression. 

Although many increments of art’s essence are details subject to the individual, building upon existing common grounds and encompassing additional definitions of art are important ways to evolve the way that society views art. Learning more about art has led to my personal increased understanding and appreciation of art and its beauty both here in Roosevelt and in everyday life.