Independently, and at the same time, Clive Bell argued in his 1914 book Art that all art work has its particular 'significant form', while the conventional subject matter was essentially irrelevant. This work laid the foundations for the formalist approach to art.  In 1920, Fry argued that "it’s all the same to me if I represent a Christ or a saucepan since it's the form, and not the object itself, that interests me." As well as being a proponent of formalism , he argued that the value of art lies in its ability to produce a distinctive aesthetic experience in the viewer. an experience he called "aesthetic emotion". He defined it as that experience which is aroused by significant form. He also suggested that the reason we experience aesthetic emotion in response to the significant form of a work of art was that we perceive that form as an expression of an experience the artist has. The artist's experience in turn, he suggested, was the experience of seeing ordinary objects in the world as pure form: the experience one has when one sees something not as a means to something else, but as an end in itself. 
We have a strong commitment to our local community and have reached a broad audience through the Atkinson Gallery and our Fine Arts Lecture series where speakers from many art disciplines come to our department and present talks. We support the Art Students Club that also organizes symposia and field trips. We are proud of the broader art experience we have been able to provide to our students. We maintain strong outreach to our local high schools, particularly the VADA program at Santa Barbara High School. We currently offer two dual-enrollment Art History courses with SBHS. We continue to support the Santa Barbara Arts Fund Teen Arts Mentorship program through faculty involvement as mentors.