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Art Today: So, Why Is This Art?


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
Art Today: So, Why Is This Art?, Walker Art Center
So, Why Is This Art?

So, Why Is This Art? explores themes and topics related to understanding contemporary art and complements the Walker’s student tour themes. Along with background information and links to selected images of Walker artworks, the site features discussion questions, student activities, and resources to download.

“So, why is this art?” is a very common question—either spoken or unspoken—among visitors to the Walker Art Center. It is an important inquiry because it can enrich an individual’s experience and engagement with contemporary art. The multidisciplinary work presented at the Walker is, by its very nature, new and frequently challenging. This resource guide is designed to lead students in grades 6–12 and their teachers in thoughtful, open-ended explorations of the nature of art.

Humans have created art through the ages, but various cultures have defined it differently. Throughout the history of Western culture, the nature of art has been debated, leading to the formation of an entire branch of philosophical study called aesthetics. Today, most experts agree that there is not only one definition of art, but that it encompasses a variety of ideas, approaches, and qualities.

Goals for students using this resource include:
• to understand their own definitions of art;
• to provide opportunities for exploring questions about modern and contemporary art;
• to learn more about contemporary artistic practices.

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Type: Instructional Material
Grades: 6-12
Instructional Method: Classroom Discussion, Multimedia Instruction, Self-paced Learning
Rights: ©2004 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: June 8, 2009