Talking about art

by Sharlene Engel, Marketing Assistant

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One of the things I’ve learnt over the past weeks is that anyone can engage with visual art.  It’s not something for a select few or something you have to have certain jargon to understand.  Anyone is qualified to look at art and just start asking questions about it: how does it make me feel?  What do I like about it?  Why did the artist make it that way?  The words we use to talk about art are universal, and art can express things words cannot.  Art can create connections between people and ideas and can create space for new dialogues and conversations.

As a communications student, this fascinates and intrigues me.  What is it about art that speaks to us in this way?  How does it achieve this communication?   I don’t know if these questions have right answers.  For me, it’s enough to know that art is more than a painting or sculpture.  It’s something handmade with care and precision, something that contains a heart and soul of its own, something that can change a perspective or grow a new idea.  Art can inspire and entertain, it can challenge and connect.  It creates a unique experience simply by being.

With the festival coming in the near future, I can’t wait to see the thousands of different reactions to the exhibits and to participate in conversations about the thousands of different meanings.  I can’t wait to be presented with that opportunity every day of the festival and to help others share in the experience of art.  


Sharlene Engel is a writer from St. Albert, AB.  She studies communication at MacEwan University, where she will graduate in April of 2017.  Her words explore the values and ideas that transcend culture and our reciprocal obligation to acknowledge our common humanity. 

Sharlene works as an editor at MacEwan’s Earth Common Journal to advocate for sustainability, conservation, and climate change. This is her first year with The Works Art & Design Festival, where she can connect many different faucets of her skills, values, and beliefs.