Art vs Craft

Art vs Craft

Attending art college brought up the argument of craft vs. art many times. At the time it felt like a very important line to be drawn and our work needed to fit into one of these categories. It was never a discussion about skill or beauty or even attention to detail. It was always regarding what deems a piece art or craft? I can't remember a lot of the arguments, because to me it was simple. It all lays in the intention of the artist. Is the artist making a piece just to be beautiful? Do they question what makes it beautiful, or why they want it to be beautiful? Do they even think about why they are creating it in the first place? Does the object have a function? Does it matter? Does the item question something, or make a point, or make a criticism about society or culture? Does it make the audience question or contemplate any of these things?

I found textiles often came up in these discussions. I am not sure if it was because I am a textile major, or if it was just the flow of the conversation. Maybe someone just wanted to pick a fight with me? But, textiles is actually a great example of how a medium can be used to create both craft and art objects. For example: I weave beautiful bold patterned fabric for upholstery projects. I also weave tapestries that embody my ideas and impressions of the world around me. The intentions and purpose of the upholstery fabric is to be colourful and eye catching and to perform the task as a covering for furniture. My tapestries are created on a level that explores concepts, create impressions and comparisons, invite dialogue, and investigates the use of an ancient technique for art instead of the more traditional craft of fabric production. 

Everyday we are presented with objects to admire,. Some are functional and some non-functional. Some would be considered craft and some art. In the end maybe it doesn't matter whether it is art of craft, just that you surround yourself with items you like and that they bring you joy. 

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