State-Run writer presents her method for explaining art to engineering students.
As someone who is bi-collegiate in the ENS and A&S college, not a day goes by where an engineering student doesn’t question my existence. Just yesterday, when I mentioned how I am also in the Arts and Science College, a classmate, Clark Johnson, remarked, “Wait, there are majors outside of Kep?”
After I inform the ENS students of the other colleges, I usually pull out the campus map I keep stashed in my backpack for such occasions. This never fails to blow away these sun deprived individuals who haven’t walked past Rayzor since their freshman year.
I’m so used to their questions that I’ve memorized an entire speech.
Still, no matter how many times I point out how TU has an entire building dedicated to art, I still haven’t gotten used to the question, “What’s an art?”
When I first got this question, I didn’t know how to respond. What is art? Should I Facebook message my art instructor, or is this a problem to bring up to my philosophy professor during our weekly Kumbaya?
None of my strategies come close to making the ENS students understand. I try reasoning with them, asking if they have heard of such greats as Van Gogh.
“Yes, but where is the van going, what’s its mass and at what velocity is it going in meters per second?” they reply.
The simplest definition I can think of is to say art is “expressing yourself.” When I told this to one student, junior Jamie Shelton, she said, “Oh, like complaining about how much harder my major is than yours?”
What I usually do next is pull out a carton of crayons, which I always carry on me since it’s one of my degree requirements and draw whatever I’m feeling particularly artsy about that day. Then, I hand them the utensil and tell them to draw what they feel. One student drew a calculus formula in an angry red color, another drew a stick figure, and yet another time a professor just drew a frowny face next to one of his student’s test grades.
It’s tiring to explain something so essential to my being. I graphically designed awareness signs and even made a post on my art-based aesthetic Tumblr.
I’ve hit my breaking point.
It’s decided. I’m going to create outfit entirely out of popular art pieces, sew the word “Art” across my chest in all-caps Comic Sans, and then dance through the Samson Plaza fountain. Maybe that will convince enough STEM students to finally stop the obsessive questioning. Catch me at 4:20 p.m. this Wednesday to experience live art.