To be sure, I think cheese crafters, especially in the past, were just that, craftspeople. They concerned themselves with milk preservation for the very practical reason of survival and sustenance.
The art comes in more now in modern times, in that it is now possible to exercise creativity in conceiving of a new product as an expression of self and beauty. For example, I am catering a wedding in a few weeks on a vineyard estate and arrived at a menu where every single dish uses something from the vineyard. And I know the biological and physical and chemical reasons and options for each dish and how I want to execute each one based on the philosophy and vision for each and the desires of the couple. I think that in this case, the creation, is more about me getting out of the way of the ingredients, yet it is the exercise of will that brings it all together into more than a process of mere execution. And that is art. Similarly in cheese, there are relatively few discoveries to be made. One may create with a reasonable degree of certainty specific styles and flavors. But to exercise will and conceive of, say, a spice and herb-studded tomme made in NY perfumed at the end of affinage with fall apples, that is also more than mere process and execution.