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Visual Arts Guide


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artist painting abstract art The visual arts involve any type of art that can be seen.  Visual art thus includes fine art, photography, and architectural design, as well as interior design, fashion design, and decorative arts and crafts.  Fine art may include paintings, drawings, sculpture, and even computer art.  Photography is the art produced from the photographer's view through the lens of a camera.  Architectural and interior design arts produce plans of structures and their interior layout, perhaps with the assistance of CAD software.  Architects and interior designers often incorporate current technologies, integrate cutting-edge materials, and consider cultural issues in their designs.  Fashion design includes not only drawing apparel design concepts, but also designing textiles and constructing them into attractive looking clothing and accessories.  Decorative arts and crafts are often visual art that is handmade with a decorative or functional purpose.  These may include fiber art, ceramic or glass art, and art from metal fabrication.

Oftentimes, an artist or art patron will exhibit his or her art collection to the public at an art gallery.  The Gallery Guide lists art galleries and their calendar of art exhibitions and events.  You may enjoy famous art collections and exhibitions in museums like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago Museum in Chicago, or the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Browsing through any museum of art provides a feast for the eyes.  Paintings, sculptures, and other works made from a variety of materials fill the galleries.  As we study a piece of artwork, we can try to interpret what the artist was trying to visually express.

Visual art may be self-taught or require training at a qualified college or university, depending on the level of professional certifications or licenses required.  Careers as a visual artist range from the painter with a personal studio to an architect working for a major architectural firm.  The United States Department of Education features an online index of visual arts learning resources from various government and academic sources.

oil painting of a dirt road and colorful Autumn leaves

The following websites deal with visual arts subjects and products.

  • Camera Shops
    Digital cameras, SLR cameras, camcorders, and photographic equipment.
  • Digital Camcorders
    Camcorders, digital video cameras, and camcorder accessories.
  • Easels
    Artist supplies, art easels, drafting supplies, and drafting tables.
  • Embroidery Machines
    Embroidery designs, patterns, machines, and software.
  • Fine Art Prints
    Fine art prints, custom framed art, and art reproductions.
  • Large Format Printers
    Large format printers for technical and graphics professionals.
  • Photo Printers
    Photo-quality printers for personal and professional use.
  • Royalty Free Photos
    Royalty-free and rights-protected photographs and clip art.
Our visual arts-related video resources include an artist using a studio easel to hold an oil painting canvas and another artist marking an oil painting with the edge of a putty knife.
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