The Fine Arts - Lessons in the fine arts focus on the development of talent and skill and the perfecting of techniques in various media such as watercolor, pastel, oil, pencil, and acrylic. Such art lessons are usually offered by local artists and attract those who are artistically talented. While classes in the fine arts may compare to personal piano or violin lessons in the field of music, they do not provide opportunity for cognitive development in the same way that a general art education course would. For children, art should be considered more a vehicle of learning rather than something to be learned.
Art Education - A well-rounded art education course (like Choose Art), on the other hand, tends to be less specialized in focus, broader in scope, and more creativity-based than the fine arts, providing multiple opportunities for problem-solving experiences. Such a course is also less product-oriented than arts and crafts. Necessarily, the object is a general education of benefit to all students, not just the talented. An art education program should introduce a wide variety of media, attempt to develop aesthetic awareness along with a functional art vocabulary, teach the student to analyze and recognize a good composition, and provide for skill development, for the exposure and practice of various techniques, for the study of art and artists throughout history, and for opportunities for problem-solving. An art education program, then, is geared as much toward cognitive development as it is toward the development of talent.
"If those who complain that the school art program is a frill, would stop to thing, they would realize its aim is not to produce practicing artists so much as thinking people."
- Elizabeth Harrison,
"Perspective: How Necessary is Art?"
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