It is practically impossible to turn anywhere in our modem world and not see a form of art. Your furniture, your rug, the dishes in the kitchen, car, your watch, even your clothes—all represent art in some form.
The reason is that somebody designed each thing chose colors, and tried to make it attractive. But there is an important purpose behind this kind of art—and that purpose is to have things used. What we call “the fine arts” have a different purpose—and that is beauty.
The fine arts are considered to be painting, sculpture, literature, drama, music, dancing, and architecture. Of these, the only one which is also involved in “use” is architecture. Architects have to think about the usefulness of their buildings as well as about their beauty.
But in the fine arts, the end result of a lot of hard work by the artist may have absolutely no use at all. It was created to provide certain satisfactions we get from beauty, and that is all. So a statue, a melody, a picture, a play, a book, and a dance are all examples of the product of the fine arts.
Today, many curious experiments are being made in all the fine arts. But the traditional methods and products of the fine arts all have things in common. For one thing, they have “design”. Design can be with sounds, with stone, with words, with building materials, with and paint. A work of fine art is designed. And within that design, the creator uses “rhythm”, “balance”, and “harmony”.
Rhythm comes from the more or less regular repetition of similar sounds, colors, shapes, and movements. Balance is the arrangement of what the artist works with so that the result seems right to us. And harmony is putting things together that seem to belong together. These, of course, are only rough ideas of what a creator in the fine arts tries to do.
What Do Fine Arts Students Do?
“Fine Arts is the study & making of visual works of art. It can be in the form of dancing, paintings, photography, film, architecture, etc.” It teaches and prepares students to become artists and to follow other practices that are associated with the making of art.