What is art?


We invited primary schools across the country to submit a 10 word response to the question ‘What is art?’. To help children answer this philosophical question, Artis worked with Korean visual artist Do Ho Suh to develop resources and activities for teachers to explore with their children.

Explore the resources here and scroll down for the winning responses and project film.

What is art? Teaching Resource pack

Resource 1: What is art …discovering materials and objects

Resource 2: Who am we …exploring the unique

Resource 3: Cause and effect …investigating past influences

Resource 4: Reflection …learning about spaces

Resource 5: Net-Work …exploring connections

Resource 6: Paratrooper I …discovering the individual

Resource 7: Home with home …examine moving

Resource 8: Uni-form/s …discuss belonging

Resource 9: Public Figures …exploring support

Resource 10: Some/One …examine identity

What is art

The Competition

We are pleased to share the shortlisted top 10 entries, whittled down from over 1000:

Art is a kite with your imagination attached to its tail.
Art is the secret recipe for feeling inspired about life.
Art is seeing in colour, not just black and white.
Art is never imagined inventions made possible by our minds.
Art is a colossal house with windows of inspiration.
Art is what’s on the inside expressed on the outside.
Art is everything. You just have to find it.
Art is an open door for imagination to run wild!
Art is a gateway to creativity, knowledge, affection and emotion.
Art is a storyteller, expressing emotions deep in your heart.

These entries were judged by an esteemed panel from the worlds of arts, science, maths and education.

The Winner:
“Art is the secret recipe for feeling inspired about life.”
Year 2, Holy Trinity Church of England School, Lewisham

Highly Commended KS1:
“Art is seeing in colour, not just black and white.”
Year 2, Vittoria Primary School, Islington

Highly Commended KS2:
“Art is a kite with your imagination attached to its tail.”
Henry & Margo, Years 6 & 4, Great & Little Shelford Church of England Primary School, Cambridge.

With the volume of entries we received, it is clear to see that philosophical debates were sparked in classrooms and that children can indeed think deeply about the arts.


What is art?

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