"I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning" ― Plato
Let’s talk about the controversial “A” placed in the STEM concept. A lot of what I'm about to say may seem self contradictory at first, but hear me out till the end. We are going to talk first about what Art is and what Art is not. Be sure to leave your own thoughts on the issue in the comments section below.
First, a little about my background. Before college, I instructed in a developmental program for kindergarten and lower performing students. I’m a printmaking artist; an Etcher and Lithographer. To most people, that means very little, but in short, the Printmaking Arts are where Chemistry and Art converge. Along with my studio degree I completed a second degree in Art History from Colorado Mesa University. As mentioned in the discussion about the “T” in STEAM, I’m a history junkie and I firmly believe that it is the catapult for every subject in education. History is context, and context makes all the difference in preparing us for the future.
Let me be clear, I believe that STEM is just one side of a coin and that the other side deserves it’s own acronym to apply to the Arts/Humanities. I hope someone develops the idea, and I’m sure one day someone will. But until then, we have STEAM.
So, Art. What is it? How can a canvas, simply painted red qualify as fine art?
While the debate rages on even among artists what truly qualifies as art and what does not, it is their argument that contains a philosophy and a way of thinking. Which, in and of itself, is an important skill to have. A skill they would not have otherwise acquired, if it weren't for their love and involvement in the Arts.
So to answer the question as inclusively as I can, I argue that, In it’s most basic form- Art is Communication.