Core 105: Aesthetics, the Artistic Impulse

Forever young and heading back to school; with new photographs, art historical missing pieces, discovered tunes, some fresh ideas, and a renewed spirit.

It’s August, well almost, and classes will resume in four weeks. It still excites me to anticipate September’s somber time, demonstrating the end of summer as I look forward to meeting roughly 90 new faces divided by three classes at Roger Williams University.

I have been teaching this class for five years. It is far more interesting than talking about straight photography or painting.

I can often sense on the first meeting, some resistance among the students toward this required class, and I tell them that this class is about them, their own creativity. I intend to help the students stimulate their own creative sense. Everyone has it, in spite of their chosen majors.

My challenge and strategy is to slowly win them over. Sure, I’d like them to like me – the class, but more especially come to understand that Aesthetics already exists in our lives. This is nothing really new.

We have all been making aesthetic choices our whole lives, and this class will help us become more conscious of such choices, perhaps even broaden such choices.


The Aesthetics class does present some history, but I care not for the memory of exact dates. Birth-death times and specific references have minor importance; rather it is the example of the piece, the period that paves the way to the present. This makes for a clearer understanding as to why things are today the way they are.

Politics, culture, and social exchange impact and define the artistic expressions. The events we examine will provide greater clues into the mysteries of creativity itself, the many influences and trials. Aesthetics intends to bring us into a deeper thoughtful appreciation of how we express ourselves today as twenty-first century participants.


Nothing has happened in a vacuum. The laws of cause and effect will prevail, and we will come to see the greater relationship among all things. Will we love everything we see and experience together? I totally doubt it. But, we will make some interesting if not pleasurable discoveries in the visual, literary, and performing arts that we examine together.

I will ask the students to sit back and enjoy. We will write some personal perceptive papers, produce a couple of art projects (yes, they/you can draw!) and read a bit for better background, and oh yeah, a few simple tests along the way.

My interest remains, to provoke the creativity of my students, while supporting their subjective pursuits of beauty. Some will like the class, some not.

I promise some surprises, pro and con. Creativity awaits!

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