Studying the Arts

Two instinctual forces compel the behavior of all life forms: all life seeks to survive; all life seeks to reproduce, to perpetuate its survival in offspring. Human life is apparently host to a third driving force, the need to extend its boundaries of perception through meaningful aesthetic expression, what we have come to call art.

Art defies the borders of human experience. It integrates, elevates, contemplates, reflects, inspects, orders, and destroys. Art is the extension of human experience. It emerges from our need to create, define and refine the connection between our inside and our outside, between inner experience and outer design. With art we are like Narcissus, studying our own reflections.

This course is an experiential, intellectual and emotional journey into the gift of art. It asks you to examine the arts from as many points of view as possible. It asks you to investigate the artist and his or her work and to take into account all the available relevant information: biographical data, knowledge of the historical situation, the social context, the philosophical and esthetic premises of the time and of the artist, the working methods, the perceived purpose of the work and the very nature of creativity and imagination.