You might think it surprising that, as the dean of an art school, I was invited to participate in innovation "research." Despite common misperceptions, the work artists do is a type of research into the complexity of human concerns.
Liberal arts courses are offered at art schools not only to satisfy the requirements for a college degree. They inform and provide greater depth to the art that a student is creating and will make in the future.
It is almost as if the word "contemporary" has another meaning when it comes to the creation of art during one's lifetime. As a result, art teachers push students toward "make it different" before they have mastered any technique.