What is art anyway?

Picture 4

A cool rainy afternoon was a perfect time to visit the Art Gallery of Alberta in downtown Edmonton. We had never been inside the unusual building composed mostly of windows and a winding ribbon of steel before and I was as interested in the architecture as the art inside.



As we wandered through the exhibits, we saw pieces that we liked, pieces that we didn’t care much for and others that simply made us shake our heads. I couldn’t help wondering what makes something art. What makes one thing worthy of display in a prestigious art gallery and another not? For example, take a look at this:


Whether or not they’re to our taste, I’m sure we’d all agree that the paintings on the wall are art, but what about the pile of hammers on the table? Yes, that’s what that is, a pile of hammers! What makes this pile of hammers a work of art and not simply a mess on someone’s workshop floor? I’m afraid I really don’t get it.

Perhaps Richard was right when he looked at the photo of two of our grandchildren that our daughter posted on Facebook yesterday.

Picture 3Photo: Melaina Graham

“All it needs is a frame and you could sell it for big bucks!” he said. Yes, that looks like art to me!


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