Art is something that comes at you with no warning.  I once read that the only trouble with real life is that there is no danger music.  This is similar to experiencing art.  Somehow a feeling is captured, an idea is brought forward, or the scale of something is so jarring that we are forced to pay attention.

On the first day of my introduction to art history class at Vanderbilt the professor flashed up a slide of the Grand Canyon.  He surveyed the class as to what we thought of the photograph.  “Gorgeous”, “breathtaking”, “awe inspiring”, and “awesome” were the general reactions.  “Well, I would like you to remember this photograph each time you view a new work of art.  Your reactions are of this time and conditioned by current society.  Remember when the settlers in covered wagons arrived and saw this view all they probably thought was, “Oh sh*t!”  How in the world are we going to get around this thing?!”