There are many ideas and philosophies about what art actually is. Briefly, for me, art is an expression of beauty. I think some of the most interesting ideas about what is considered art can be found here in a book written by the Gorilla Girls.
Some of the most amazing art I have seen recently are in the area of textile arts: quilts, slow cloths, weaving, baskets and much more. I just finished taking an on line class with Jude Hill called Boro cloth. I think this was the most encouraging class I have ever been in. I also view encouragement as an expression of beauty ( in parenting and relationship theory, encouragement is considered the foundation of relationships. Encouragement is not the same as praise, and it actually requires the use of temporo-perietal junction and the posterior cingulated cortex of the brain to even be expressed.)
Here is a pillow I made while taking the class. On the front I have hand painted and stitched the cloth to make the flowers. The back of the pillow utilizes weaving and patching techniques explored in the class.
Here is the front of the pillow:
and the back of the pillow:
"We live by encouragement and die without it - slowly, sadly, angrily." -Celeste Holm