1st Student's Major


1st Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Students' Professional Biography

Kristin Harsma is a double major student at Minnesota State University, Mankato who will be receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts with a concentration in Sculpture and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Technology when she graduates in May 2011. She is also minoring in Art History and is a member of MSU‟s Art History Round Table currently serving as Treasurer. As a child she lived in many different places but spent her high school years in the small town of Hills, MN near the South Dakota and Iowa borders. In the fall of 2009, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy taking courses such as Marble Sculpture and Mosaics. While in Italy, she had the opportunity to visit marble workshops in Carrara and the famous mosaic churches of Ravenna. This experience proved to be very inspirational and further opened her eyes to issues within the art world, both past and present. The supposed division between art and craft is something she faces in her own work as a sculptural artist working with the medium of stained glass; and it is an issue she is very passionate in overcoming. She plans to take a year to build up a strong body of artwork after graduating before moving onto graduate school.

Mentor's Name

Curt Germundson

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department


Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities


Throughout history, various qualities of art have gone in and out of fashion, works declared high art being considered most important. However, there has always been a hierarchy of not only subjects of art but also of media used to create art. Some media, such as fibers, stained glass, mosaics, and even ceramics, are considered on the lower end of this scale, due to their associations with certain processes and function. I argue that it is illegitimate to maintain a hierarchy based on processes and function, for all works of art require some knowledge and skill of one's craft, whether it is painting, sculpting, printmaking, photography, mosaics, ceramics, fibers or any other medium. The many debates over art and so-called craft date back as far as philosophers of Ancient Greece and show the apparent need to clearly define the two, to make everything distinctly fit either art or craft. There have been many artistic movements that have questioned this distinction. By exploring the debate around art and craft through the examination of the works of relevant philosophers, artists, and artistic periods I argue that this distinction needs to be refined, thus eliminating the negative connotation of "craft."

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.