Making the Best of Your Aesthetic Requirement

Aesthetic RequirementOne of the biggest arguments against the aesthetics requirement is that it won’t be necessary in a future career. However, aesthetics classes such as art, dance, music, and theatre teach us important things that can’t be taught in other general courses.

For instance, the sense of creativity that is learned from any aesthetic class can enhance our college experience while shaping us into well-rounded students. College is all about experiencing and learning new things, and taking at least one aesthetics class is the perfect opportunity to immerse oneself into a whole new aspect of life.

After all, art, music, dance and theatre are present in our lives in more ways than we realize. The songs you hear on the car radio, the poster hanging on the wall of your dorm, and the musical that comes on the television when channel surfing all share the same aesthetic nature.

What else do art, music, dance and theatre have in common? They all have the power to boost emotion, promote inspiration, and reduce stress.

Freshman English student Britney Fusic is currently fulfilling her aesthetics requirement this semester. Rather than dreading her art appreciation class twice a week, she realized that there is much more to art than most people realize.

“Art teaches you to look at things not only at the surface; it teaches you to think about it as well,” she shared. “With art, you can’t just look at it and assume it’s one thing, because it could mean something different to everybody, so you really have to look at it and try to interpret and analyze it.” Aesthetics isn’t just what is pleasing to the eye; every piece of artwork, musical composition, or dance routine holds its own unique value, which is one of the reasons why aesthetics and creativity is so vital to our everyday lives.

Assistant professor and departmental advising coordinator of art and design Corey Dzenko Ph.D shared insight on the importance of aesthetics. She said, “Art is a visual language. [Art] is going to communicate, and by taking aesthetics classes, you learn how to think more deeply into what the creative projects are communicating… A lot of times students just think of art as just a pretty picture on the wall, but it is much, much more than that.”

Art is not so different from other courses such as history and English. In fact, aesthetics classes intersect with a variety of other courses required for different majors. Dzenko added, “Speaking from my position as a professor of art history, we talk a lot about history, but we always return to the object and focus on the artwork and how it relates to its specific context. [Meanwhile], English has multiple parts; you’ll be reading works of literature that tell a story but also have a deeper meaning to them. That’s the same as looking at art, music, and theatre.”

Although freshman Nicholas Goranites studies business administration, that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy aesthetics courses such as theatre.

“It’s important to take a class like theatre appreciation because not only are you learning about theatre, you’re learning about life,” he said. “Theatre is about the expression of our emotion; theatre was made to represent our own feelings, which is why it has gained such popularity over thousands of years, starting back in ancient Greece to modern day Broadway.” The arts have been around for a long time and will continue to inspire for years and years to come.

If you haven’t taken your aesthetics requirement yet, don’t be so fast to criticize; rather, think of it as an opportunity to learn new things. You don’t have to be an artist to earn an “A” in an aesthetics class; you just need an open mind and a positive attitude.

PHOTO TAKEN by Matthew Aquino