The distinction between art and entertainment is a fuzzy one at best, but there are a few key aspects that can be considered.
Art carries with it exclusivity. Art allows new aspects and layers as one appreciates and experiences it, a key hallmark. Entertainment is pushed at you, is near ubiquitous, and is clothed in the aura of being “normal” and “what people like.” It also creates a sense of belonging, that there are others that are sharing the experience. In fact, it is hard to escape all the entertainment options, while it can be quite a challenge to find good art. Certainly within entertainment one can find glimmers of art. But art is not for everyone. It is there to challenge and to expose; it is made for appreciation, rejection and indifference. Entertainment is built for acceptance and exposure.
Entertainment is for the audience and the “customer” is always right. If enough people want a certain type of singing, then that is what will be produced. Art is not only for the audience; it is not democratic because it is also for the artist. The artist gets a certain satisfaction, feedback, learning, and experience from the art he/she is creating. Again, this distinction between art and entertainment is a fuzzy one. I have no doubt that Michael Bay gets joy from his Transformers moves and yes, there is art to be found there. In fact, yesterday’s art resulted in today’s entertainment. This is not entirely one-sided; artists can certainly find inspiration from entertainment, but again it is a matter of degree here. There is art everywhere.
Art creates new possibilities because it challenges and inspires. An artist should decide quite firmly where on this art-entertainment spectrum his/her works should fall.