Art Is ... - 1971
Art Is … – 1971

“Art is … ” produced in 1971 by the Associated Councils of the Arts is a documentary that delves into the real meaning of art.

What is art?

There are many ways to express it, many ways to define it, and no single answer.

Ask the artist or a person on the street.

We each have our own way of recognizing and appreciating art.

“I think art is love, beauty, understanding, all those things,” says a lady in a fur coat and hat wearing cat eyeglasses.

“Art is horizons, art is sky, art is everything and everywhere,” describes the man on the street.

Art Is ... - 1971
Art Is … – 1971

“Art is something you get away from the regular … routine,” explains a gravelly voiced bystander.

“The buildings are art.  The streets are art,” replies a cop walking the beat.

“Art is the inspiration to be one with beauty,” responds the European immigrant.

Likewise, the artist, whether an actor, a sculptor, a dancer, a street theater performer, a baker, a conductor, even a steam engineer, understand art as a direct, real life expression of a unique vision of the world.

The creation of art demands study, determination, and commitment.

Peak into the process of famed mime Tony Montanaro as he describes his process of interpreting the world and transforming it into performance on stage.

Sculptor Robert Murray, who invents new forms with blowtorch and steel, plays with our natural curiosity to see things anew.

Art Is ... - 1971
Art Is … – 1971

Jerome Robbins, choreographer perhaps best known today for co-directing West Side Story, searches for the perfect expression of “bodies moving in time and space.”

Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein is on a passionate mission to lead his orchestra toward a climactic downbeat.

And yet art, to call itself art, is not limited to classical, high-brow conceits.

Art is in the everyday, from the variety of fonts on store signs to the detail of a baker’s pattern in the dough or the inspiration to revive a working steam engine from days of yore.

As the grandmother in the leopard skin cap answers, “It makes you feel broader, richer, you begin to see things you never saw before.”

This is what “Art Is … “