Observations of Art History

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On February 16, 2015, I went to my 8 o’clock class like I would on any normal Monday. This class is a survey class that is going over art from the prehistoric era up to the Renaissance.  I am very interested in art being that it is my major, but while being in class for the first part of the semester has made me realize that I respect ancient art, but very little is interesting to me.  I understand that for there to be the art and the concepts behind the art of today, there had to be evolution of the arts through time, and this evolution is what is interesting me and engages me in the class.  The evolution and transformation of the art through the ages is very fascinating, but unfortunately we do not spend too much time on this aspect.  The main focus of this class is memorizing pieces of art and being able to place them in their appropriate time periods.  This focus is very hard for some students to become fully engaged with, and along with constant lecture and seemingly never ending slide shows, there is a very high percentage of boredom in the class.  I observed that many students use the class as time to do work for other classes, listen to music, draw (which is what I usually find myself doing), and even just staring off into space.  There is one student that sits in front of me everyday, and every class period he sits down, puts his feet on the chair in front of him, and puts on his over-the-head head phones, and continues to stay like this for the entire hour and fifteen minutes.  If the class had a more engaging curriculum and let the students participate more freely, there would most likely be a much more attentive group of students and the overwhelming feeling of boredom would possibly vanish.

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overlookingdurango
photo by: Kenny Currier

As a freshman Art major here at Fort Lewis College in beautiful Durango, Colorado, I have already had an incredible experience.  Being surrounded by the breath-taking landscapes and extremely inspirational people of Durango is an artist’s dream, and I have found myself in the middle of this captivating dream world.  The time I have spent in Durango has gotten me hooked on everything it has to offer, and having Fort Lewis being right at the heart of the town is nothing short of fantastic.  I am currently in a Design class that is letting me test my artistic abilities by using different medias and styles like I never before. I am also now able to push myself to think more conceptually and to focus on creating and emphasizing a specific meaning through my art.  The art of thinking differently and catching things that others normally would not is a concept that is also being taught in my COMP 250 class as well.  I am being taught that every piece of information has a specific meaning behind it and to observe and record those pieces of information no matter.  This skill can be directly related back to my Design class in the sense that I am learning to analyze art, specially my own art, and examine every part of the piece to see what meaning it has behind it.  The teaching of analyzing every piece of information is an extremely useful skill to have, and being an art major I am going to need this skill to properly analyze pieces of art.  The ability to analyze information and incorporate it in ways of perceiving art is a skill that is to be gained by continuing on my path as an Art major here at Fort Lewis college.  Along with strengthening my skills in analyzing art and information, I plan to expand my abilities as an artist ten times what they already are, and this can be possible if I stay on the path the being the best artist I can be.