What Is Art?

Chicago art Scholarship

Marc Chagall said, “art must be an expression of love or it is nothing.” Pablo Picasso, meanwhile, thought that “art is a lie that makes us realize truth,” whereas Paul Cezanne contemplated that the definition of art might be “the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature, seen through the veil of the soul.” Or, as Marcel Duchamp’s infamous “Fountain” exhibition of 1917 tried to show, maybe art is just anything that’s displayed in a museum or gallery—or even your home.

At Artists Frame Service, we believe that art is in the eye of the beholder and that it can be anything you want it to be. That belief is reflected in the wide variety of art that we’ve framed for our clients over the years—from limited edition prints to acrylic paintings, even sports jerseys or needlework.

In the interest of encouraging the next generation, we recently ran a scholarship competition and asked aspiring high school artists: what do you think art is, and what does it mean to you? 

We received numerous great entries, but chose Claire Krueger of Novi, Michigan to receive the award. Claire will be attending Carnegie Mellon University in the fall as an aspiring fashion designer. We wish her a bright and creativity filled future! See some of her work here including her duct tape prom dress. 


Art is a house, in which an idea makes itself at home. Everyone has ideas, good ideas, bad ideas, world-shattering ideas, and ideas that simply disappear, and it takes a skilled artist to capture that idea on paper. Or off paper, any method to keep the idea alive. Art lives through different times, it can be as short-lived as a sketch at the bottom of a recycling bin, or as long lived as a statue that has suffered through times of war yet lives to tell the tale. Art is a means for the idea to live through the centuries. No matter the length of the life span, if it is created it is art. 

Of course there is the good and the bad. There is the Mona Lisa and the stuff that hangs on your mother’s fridge, but the quality of the execution doesn't diminish the value of the art. Other than becoming a home to an idea art serves everyone a different purpose. To the artist it can be stress relief, a career or way to preserve your name into the unforeseeable future. To the observer it can be an adventure, inspiration, or even comfort. 

Art inspires and drives more ideas and more art. It has followed us through the ages and grown with us, as it’s creation and destruction paralleled that of our own. Art has become our window into the past as well as our window into the future and it becomes the mind's playground. Since everything, including art, is open to interpretation the meaning of art becomes virtually infinite, and it is that incredible nature which makes makes me proud to call myself an artist.