Art is a visual expression of critical thinking. All art involves a problem to be solved by the artist, and meaning to be found by the person experiencing the artwork. As I’ve experienced the efforts of people who want to help others learn critical thinking, I’ve noticed that there is a distinct need for art, whether that art is the art of graphic design or the art of painting on a canvas. Art can be a tool for explaining ideas; art can illustrate meaning; art can attract attention; art can make people think.
Here’s a mudpie; it is a work of art. Not that art is the equivalent of making mud pies, mind you…
What meaning can you find in this mud pie?
Even with whipped cream and a cherry on top, it’s still a mud pie.
Think of it as a symbol for something that appears to be one thing but is really another. Even with whipped cream and a cherry, would you eat a slice of mud pie? Suppose we covered that mud pie completely with whipped cream. You might not know it was a mud pie under all that sweetness but you’d sure find out what it really was once you took a bite.
So, think about it: how would you find out it was a mud pie without taking a bite?