What is Art?


photo by Daniel Gimenez.

Huntington Beach High School’s art wall, located backstage at the school’s main theater.

Daniel Gimenez, Staff

What is Art?

What is art? What’s supposed to be a simple question is much more complex than it may seem at first glance. That’s due to the different forms of art, be they visual, auditory, or even olfactory. 

“Art is anything that is made with the pure intent of making an emotional reaction,” said Logan Wilson, a senior at Huntington Beach High School’s (HBHS) famous Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) program.

This sentiment seems to be shared by others such as Steven Kallestad, another senior and member of APA, as well as a part of HBHS’s renowned marching band, who said, “Art is a medium in which an artist’s emotion can be conveyed.”

So it seems that so long as it has something to do with emotion then it is art, which begs a different question. What is not Art?

“Nature, even though it is pretty, can’t be considered Art because it conveys no information or emotion,” said Beckett Ratzalaf, a student involved in HBHS’s Art program.

Interestingly enough, Wilson agreed with Ratzalaf, but Kallestad disagreed with both of them stating that Art is entirely subjective. He says that it depends on who is interpreting it.

Naturally, this left one more question unanswered, could the school building itself be considered art? Unsurprisingly, both Wilson and Ratzalaf said that it couldn’t because it wasn’t constructed with the intention of evoking any particular emotion. However, Kallestad once again disagreed with both of them, saying, “Of course it can, it’s architecture. Also, older buildings that were built without any intention to evoke emotion are now considered art too.” 

At the end of the day, everyone has their own opinions about what is and isn’t art and how expansive that term should be. Kallestad believes that art is entirely subjective and should be left up to each person’s interpretation, which, in turn, seems to convey the true creative spirit of art.