Art is for everyone

Art is for everyone, even people who didn’t study it in college. Even people who’ve never picked up a paintbrush. Even people who’ve never bought an original artwork (Shame on you!).

Last night my wife lamented in the middle of a conversation how she wasn’t an equal to me when we talked about art. “Bologna!” I said in my best Italian accent. Sure, she didn’t study art in college, although she has picked up a paintbrush and bought an original work of art — This aside from her own crocheting. She is very intelligent and her opinion on art is valid.

It must be noted that part of our own struggle as a couple when it comes to discussing art is personality. We approach conversation very differently, and it’s easy for me to inadvertently step on her toes (Isn’t that part of the definition of “husband,” whether we like it or not?). Those of you with rings on your fingers know exactly what I’m talking about here.

Back on topic. It must be noted that not every opinion on art is worthwhile. By this I’m referring mostly to those unconsidered thoughts; and by this I’m referring to people who flaunt their responses to art without knowing why they are saying what they are. A person should be able to elaborate on why they do or don’t like a particular sculpture, even if “It’s just not my personal preference.” No one in their right mind can expect everyone to like every style of architecture or painting or film; we aren’t robots. There is such a thing as a personal aesthetic. Everyone looks at a work of art through a different lens. We all claim different experiences and personalities that give our aesthetic flavor.

That said, I also believe that most Americans don’t begin to think critically about their visual environment (Indeed, I’ve often wondered what percentage of Americans think critically about anything.). Certain people I know exclaim how they are visually inept. That may be, but just because someone isn’t predisposed to artistic greatness or understanding does not entirely exempt them from the conversation.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

2 Responses to Art is for everyone

  1. Pingback: Not everyone is an artist « The Aesthetic Elevator

  2. eric says:

    Art is for everyone but there are plenty of people who feel the same as your wife.

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