Art or math? Students share perspectives of knowledge

Zachary Headley, Staff Writer

Since the beginning of recorded history, there have been diverse types of people with different perspectives on the world. This is no different at Greeley West. Backgrounds, goals, and interests all differ between each student and teacher.

One such example:  do humans view the world through numbers and math or through art and creativity? 

Mr. Travis Krause is an art, design, and Theory of Knowledge teacher, and has contemplated this question for a long time. “I think it really boils down to the goal and the outcome you expect,” he Krause said. “What you get out of math appeals to your sense of reason, while the products of art use more emotional processes.”

Krause said  he doesn’t believe that people inherently process using only math or art, but rather a mix. IB senior Hannah Beresford agreed. “[I feel like] they are not fundamentally different, and are actually intertwined quite a bit,” Beresford said. “When I look at art, even though I process it in math terms, it works the other way too. I see connections everywhere, like shapes and the math of geometry or music and wavelengths like we study in physics. Art is math and math is art, you can’t really separate them.” 

Some students disagree, saying that people are either more mathematical thinkers or more creative thinkers. Senior Kayla Becker is an artist and actress and said, “Art really appeals to the soul. It brings out emotion in you and sparks inspiration. Personally, math feels much more cold and calculated, it doesn’t inspire me, and it feels more like a chore than an expression.”

Junior Bohden Suntych shared opposite sentiments. “Sitting and writing for fun or learning how to sing a song piece-by-piece is really hard for me. I could sit for hours and crunch numbers and process data,” Suntych said.  “The coolest part is understanding something you’ve made at a fundamental level, not just how it appears on the surface. I think art is that understanding as a product, a tangible thing, but if I can’t see beyond that outer layer, it’s much less appealing.”

Regardless of the various perspectives on the issue, there is no definitive answer – just definitive observations for each individual.