Belief Statement The criterion I believe is most essential for art of merit is that it evokes emotion in the viewer. Above all other purposes of art, provoking a visceral response from the viewer is the most important. Art should be created with the intent for the viewer to feel emotion upon seeing the work. Even art that initially provokes simple emotions like shock or disgust may have merit. A person has a strong response to a work of art, whether negative or positive has a reason for that response. Often the art will provoke both positive and negative thoughts in the viewer, which may cause that person to dislike the work of art. For this reason, art may have merit regardless of whether a person personally dislikes a work of art, as long as it provokes thought. The second essential criterion for art of merit is that the piece has meaning for many people. If many people can derive meaning from an artwork, the artist probably had a clear intent. The message of the artwork will not be the same for each viewer, and will
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