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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Canvas

Canvas

Cotton or linen fabric that artists use as a surface to paint on.

Caricature

A picture, description, or imitation of someone or something that has exaggerated characteristics and features. 

Carpenter/carpentry

A person who makes things out of wood. Carpentry includes furniture, objects, and parts of buildings.

Cartridge

Cartridge

A plastic container used to store a video game.

Casting

A process used to create a sculpture out of materials like metal or plaster. Liquid material is poured into a mold or a hollow container in the shape of the final object. When the liquid material hardens, it is taken out of the mold. 

Casting

Casting is when a liquid material is poured into a mold, and then left to become solid. The solid part is then broken out of the mold to complete the process. 

Catacombs

A type of cemetery. Underground tunnels with passageways and chambers where the remains of human bodies are stored.

Ceramics

Relating to pottery or any object made of clay and then fired in a kiln.

Chance

Happening unexpectedly or without direct reason

Charcoal

Charcoal

A dark black material made from charred twigs of wood, usually willow or vine. It is one of the oldest known drawing materials and was used for drawing by the Greeks and Romans. Charcoal can come in the form of crayons, pencils or solid short sticks.

Civil rights

Rights and freedoms that protect people from discrimination and unequal treatment.

Civilization

A society in an advanced state of social development.

Classical music

Traditional Western music from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Collaboration

Collaboration is when two or more people work together on a project.

Collage

A two-dimensional work of art created by attaching or gluing objects, pieces of paper, fabric, and other materials to a surface. The word collage means “pasting” in French.

Collection

A collection is a group of objects that are gathered together for the purposes of learning, research, or interest. More…

Color Field painting

Color Field painters focused on the flatness and texture of the canvas by eliminating the difference between the foreground and the background of a painting. Color Field artists often achieved this look by pouring or brushing paint on raw, unprepared canvas that was placed on the floor. The color seeped or stained through the canvas fabric creating the image.

Colored

Having color or a certain color. The word colored was used in the United States to describe black people and is now considered offensive.

Commercial art

Art or graphics used for advertising or selling.

Community

A group of people living in one area or a group of people with common interests or identities.

Composer

A person who writes music for voice and musical instruments.

Composition

In art, a composition is the way something is arranged or put together to form a whole. An example of composition is how the shapes and colors of a painting are combined. In music, a composition is the way musical notes or sounds are arranged or put together.

Computer programming

Creating a set of instructions that computers can follow in order to perform specific tasks, such as the actions in a computer game.

Conceptual art

Conceptual artists focus on the ideas and processes of art making more than the finished art object. They often use non-traditional art materials such as text, photography, publications, drawings, video, film, and performance to make their work.

Conservation

The work that conservators do is called conservation. Conservation involves examining the object and making notes to determine its condition. Then the conservator restores the object based on the object’s visual, historical, and scientific characteristics.

Conservator

A person who specializes in restoring and maintaining the condition of objects such as works of art or books. Conservators often work for a museum or library.

Console

The machine where you place a video game cartridge or disk. For example, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Wii are all video game consoles.

Contemporary

Someone who belongs to the present time. Someone who lives at the same time.

Contraband

Smuggled goods or merchandise that is forbidden or not supposed to be sold.

Correspondence

Communication by the exchange of letters. Correspondence courses are classes in which the students and teachers communicate by mail.

Counterbalance

When weights are arranged in opposition to each other so that they stay in balance. For example, when two people sit at either end of a seesaw, their weight and movement keeps the seesaw moving up and down.

Counterculture

A group of people whose values and behavior are different from, and often oppose those of mainstream society. 

Craftsmanship

The ability to practice a special skill, like pottery or sewing.

Craftsperson

A craftsperson is someone who practices a special skill, like a potter or a carpenter.

Cropping

Cropping is removing the edges of an image to change how it looks.

Crucifixion

A way of putting someone to death that was practiced in ancient times. The person’s hands and feet were bound or nailed to a cross.

Cubism

A style of art that questioned and changed traditional ways of seeing things in the early twentieth century. Cubist artists represented multiple viewpoints of figures and objects at the same time. The figures and objects in their paintings merged together with the background, flattening everything into shifting shapes and surfaces.

Curator

A person who is responsible for the care, collection, conservation, and interpretation of museum objects and works of art.
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