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The Visual Arts

The arts are basically divided into three different categories: the Visual Arts, the Literary Arts, and the Performing Arts. Of course, there are art forms that combine the different categories—as well as art that is very difficult to categorize at all—but let's stick to the basics!

 

Today we'll focus on just the Visual Arts. The first type of art in this category is architecture, which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as "the art or practice of designing and building structures, and especially habitable ones." The professional title of a person who creates architecture is an architect.

 

 

California's central coast is a gorgeous stretch dotted with Spanish architecture.

Captions 2-3, Travel + Leisure: Weekend Getaway, Santa Barbara

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The next type of art in the visual arts is ceramics, defined by Merriam-Webster as "the art or process of making ceramic articles."  Works of art made of ceramic are also called pottery. You call a person who makes ceramics a ceramicist or a studio potter.

 

 

The most popular pieces, I would say, are the ceramic pieces.

Caption 17, New York City: Little Shop of Crafts

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The next type of art in the visual arts category is drawing, which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as "the art or technique of representing an object or outlining a figure, plan, or sketch by means of lines". 

 

 

So it's kind of a messy drawing, but it really helps to start to think of ideas.

Caption 27, Creative Space: What does an Interior Designer Do?

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A person who draws might be called a "drawer," but this is usually a person (such as a draftsman) who makes plans and sketches of machinery or structures, or a person who "draws up" or writes legal documents. Most visual artists use drawing as part of their skill set, if not as a finished product, then as a way to sketch out ideas.

 

Now we come to painting, a field practiced by painters, which is probably the traditional art form that most people think of when they think about art. It's simply defined in the dictionary as "the art or occupation of painting."

 

 

When I do an oil painting, it takes me a week or a month.

Captions 15-16, Creative Space: An Artist's Studio

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Next comes photography, practiced by photographers, which has many aspects that are not generally considered "high art," such as photojournalism for the news and commercial photography for advertising. Merriam-Webster defines it as "the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (such as film or an optical sensor)."

 

 

This rule applies to film-making, photography...

Caption 2, Filmmaking & Photography: The Rule of Thirds | What Is It?

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The next type of visual art is sculpture, a field practiced by sculptors, and defined by Merriam-Webster as "the action or art of processing (as by carving, modeling, or welding) plastic or hard materials into works of art."

 

 

She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor.

Caption 4, Alessia Cara: Scars To Your Beautiful

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The last form of visual arts is conceptual art, which Merriam Webster defines as "an art form in which the artist's intent is to convey a concept rather than to create an art object." A person who practices this art form is a conceptual artist. In the United Kingdom, conceptual art has come to mean any contemporary art that does not use the traditional skills of painting or sculpture. Since conceptual art may take the form of an installation, or a form that is not easily sold (in the way an object like a painting or sculpture can be sold), most conceptual artists live from art grants and other forms of financial support.

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the videos above relating to art forms and professions. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in English using these art words, then compare what you both came up with.

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