Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What is Art?

Not long ago, a controversy over the definition of art was sparked when a neighbor took it upon herself to hire a couple of guys to tear down some mosaic work on a bridge that crosses Coyote Creek.  When the people in the neighborhood found out that this woman had hired men to tear down the artwork, they were appalled (many considered it vandalism) and rallied around the artist to make sure he would be able to finish his work and that it would be preserved.  The work on the mosaics had begun years ago and had been funded by a grant.  When the grant ran out the artist continued to work, donating his time, talent and materials.  The bridges (there are two with his artwork) are a source of enjoyment and pride for the many neighbors who walk these streets.  What were the odds that a local artist (and wife of an aesthetics professor) would happen to be walking by the bridge as the artwork was being torn down?  She alerted her husband, they talked to the men who were tearing down the art and asked them to stop. When  questioned, the woman claimed "It isn't art."  Well, she expressed that opinion to the wrong guy.  In our corner we have our very own aesthetics professor who assured her that "the work fits all of the traditional and current definitions of art offered by philosophers and art theorists."  Ha!  Take that!  I submit to you the Coyote Creek Bridge art at 17th and Santa Clara.

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