Art classes cover a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities. In their most basic form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art. The most common art classes focus primarily on the visual arts, which includes the creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media.
The field of architecture is often included as one of the visual arts; however, like the decorative arts, it involves the creation of objects where the practical considerations of use are essential—in a way that they usually are not in a painting, for example. Music, theater, film, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature and other media such as interactive media, are included in a broader definition of art or the arts.
Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences. In modern terms, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, the fine arts are separated and distinguished from acquired skills in general, such as the decorative or applied arts.