Arts & Humanities: Don't Leave College Without Them

Who NeedS Art?

of Athena’s drapery interrupts the smoothness that one’s eye is used to. Being able to lead someone through a story with sculpture so eas- ily translates into creative writing and having an amazing sense of structure. The subtleties of visual storytelling give you an edge as you prepare to use writing to persuade or enthrall someone because you understand what the mind finds interesting. Art and sculpture is so easily dismissed and overlooked though it has so much value not only to society but in particular to the person who creates it. Such sought after skills are sit- ting in any art class or home. Unnecessary, a waste of time, not helpful in a career… you tell me if sculpture is any of those things?

In English, we learn how to form a para - graph with a clear beginning, middle and end. In sculpture, the story can come from the emotional journey, a compositional journey of the eye, or a visual representa- tion of a scene. Yet no matter what type of story, the artist must define for themselves how the narrative goes. Visually creating a topic sentence is a bit harder than on paper. By investigating historical art pieces, one can see how a well-thought composition only enhances the message of a piece. One of the best examples is currently located in Berlin: Zeus Altar. On the frieze, there is an exquisite high relief sculpture of Athena and Nike fighting Alkyoneus. One’s eye is purposefully directed through the compo- sition as it falls across Athena and Nike’s grasping hands and then down the diagonal of Nike’s body. Yet the deeply incised lines

by Leah Henseler

Unnecessary, a waste of time, not helpful in a career… I have heard all these phrases said in rela- tion to art. Yet you wouldn't consider re- searching, spatial visualization or analyti- cal skills any of those things, even though they are all part of creating art. Art in all forms isn’t simply about the product, but what can be learned from the process. You can learn an immense amount of craved talents through sculpture. Improving your spatial visualization is probably the most obvious benefit of sculpture. But in my experience, having to mold something makes you also think about material compositions, chemistry, production, sustainability, spatial form, culture and communication. And spatial visualization can translate into a more sur- prising everyday ability: nonverbal com- munication. When you can understand how objects and people hold themselves in a room, you get a better sense of what your own body positions and movements are conveying. And you have to study gesture and microexpressions. When sculpting a

person’s face, you must investigate every line in their furrowed brow, every strained tendon in their neck that makes up their uniqueness. One begins to recognize the subtleties of human expression and movement that can uncover im- portant unsaid feelings. Research and analytical skills: what subjects do you associate with those abilities? Although certain subjects come to mind, you can’t even begin to sculpt a human body without research- ing and understanding how the bone structure works and the body moves. Anatomy. This could be compared to mathematicians knowing for- mulas before solving an equation or a scientist knowing a lab procedure. Yet it is not only the preemptive research of sculpture that teaches you but the actual process of sculpting itself. One must constantly analyze and observe be- cause when you are sculpting anything, there is constant back and forth between images and the actual piece. This teaches you how to solve larger problems slowly step by step, one piece of the puzzle at a time, which is such an impor- tant skill. Sculpting is like a constant mind work- out, preparing you for any analytical or strategic project in the future.

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Arts & Humanities

Don’t Leave College Without Them


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