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1.2 Connections to Art Traditions

3 min readโ€ขjanuary 26, 2023



AP Art & Designย ๐ŸŽจ

18ย resources
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Connecting Tradition to Your Art

Art is a fundamental part of human history and has been found to exist since the start of human civilization and society. It can be found in cultures all around the world, where each culture has its own unique art forms and traditions. These have all developed and changed over time, reflecting the values and beliefs of that culture.
For example, traditional African art often features intricate carvings and sculptures that depict animals and nature, and are believed to have spiritual significance. Traditional Chinese art is known for its intricate brushwork in painting and calligraphy, which has been an important form of self-expression for centuries.
In many cultures, traditional art forms are passed down from generation to generation, with apprentices learning from experienced practitioners. This helps to ensure that the art form is preserved and passed on to future generations.
Art has also played an important role in many cultures as a way of expressing social and political commentary. For example, art can be used as a form of protest, or as a way to raise awareness about social issues. Art can also have a more personal significance, as it can be used as a way for individuals to express their emotions and experiences. In recent times, art has become more diverse and inclusive, with many new forms of art emerging and traditional forms being adapted to reflect contemporary culture.
In summary, art as a tradition encompasses a wide range of forms, mediums, and contexts, but at its core, it serves as a way for humans to express themselves, to tell stories, to reflect on their culture, and to connect with others.

Tradition and You

As we mentioned before, art is a very personable field that reflects on what the artist chooses, whether it is themselves or a topic they find pertinent. There are many ways to connect art with tradition, depending on your personal artistic practice and the tradition you are interested in exploring. Here are a few ideas:
Beyond researching and reading about art, interaction is important. Work with traditional materials, like natural pigment or textiling with hand-weaving. Making art is a vastly different process for everyone, and using more traditional technique can help enhance your work and set you apart.
Many traditions and cultures have rich storytelling traditions. You could explore these stories and themes in your own art, whether by illustrating a traditional story, or by creating work that reflects traditional beliefs and values. This goes hand-in-hand with collaboration; you could reach out to traditional artists and collaborate with them on a project. This can be a great way to learn about traditional art forms and to create new art that combines traditional and contemporary elements.
Many cultures also have traditional art events or festivals that you can attend or participate in. This can be a great way to connect with traditional art forms and to see them in a cultural context.
Use technology to explore and connect with traditional art forms. Many museums and cultural institutions have online collections, virtual tours, and other resources that can help you learn about traditional art forms and connect with them.
It's important to remember to approach traditional art forms with respect, understanding and awareness of their cultural significance!

Design Tradition

Besides art's tradition, traditions of design refer to the various historical and cultural practices, techniques, and styles that have been used to create visual designs. Design traditions can be found in many different fields, such as architecture, graphic design, product design, and fashion. Architecture, fashion, and industrial design are forms of art rooted more in design tradition.
Design traditions are a rich source of inspiration and can be used to create new designs that are rooted in history, culture, and tradition. These, of course, play into art tradition and influence the design of many cultural artistic viewpoints. Understanding and embracing design traditions can help to create designs that are meaningful and relevant to contemporary audiences.
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