Saturday, September 1, 2012

Feminist Curation

Students in my spring 2012 "New Museum Theory" course read an article on feminist curation and feminist curatorial strategies. We then had a discussion, that was open to the public. In recounting the group component of that experience with a student from the course, I realized that, while small, our group discussion did have a lasting impact. So while I found the article problematic, it did, at the very least, generate discussion and make an impression.

note: in the spring I will teach Women & Art and will work on an exhibition on Women Painters & Etchers to be held in our Wilson Gallery. I am looking forward to both experiences and sharing these with students.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pride, two ways

It's been a very long time since my previous post. It's been more than a year. Rather than recount the year (which would be missing the point of this blog entirely), I'll just report on a few things -- all having to do with pride.

First and foremost: exciting news in the art department where I teach. We will begin blogging regularly, as faculty, on the department blog this fall. We have had two meetings over the summer (and plenty of impromptu conversations) and are excited about the possibility and opportunity to put our ideas out there and invite comments. The blog, of course, is not just for art students at our institution, but, rather, for the entire community. We invite your lurking and participation.

Second: I have been struck by a number of articles and videos that I have come across online. Here's a few of them:
Taken in order, we start with a query and a presumption of inequality that I firmly believe does exist, move toward government intervention as well as grass roots initiatives, and end with hope.

Finally, way to go Jonathan on that first teaching gig, Hannah on completing your M.A. in Education, Rachel on getting into the principal/leadership program, Amber for your work at the Kentucky Arts Council, Ashley on your work as a part-time architectural historian. I am proud of each of you and many, many other former students. Please keep in touch!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring is in the air...

Yep! It's my once-a-semester post. I have been away for a while, but decided to come back and blog a bit. The main reason is that I have been thinking about using a blog as a means of discussion for one of my classes this summer. So, here's my feeble attempt at getting back online again.  more soon!

Monday, February 4, 2008

My once-a-semester-post

Let's see....Last time I checked in (and that time, also, having forgotten my password), it was about fourth week. Here I sit in a nearby research library, again, in fourth week...Must be time for a post to my blog. Alas....

The end of last semester was rushed, as it always is, and the intersession found me in Europe with students. I had about six days between returning from taking students to London and Dublin and starting classes and that seemed to be just enough to get re-acclimated to life in the little city. 

This semester has been going at a quick pace already. My classes this semester are Survey of Art 2 (beginning with the late Middle Ages and continuing to the Modern era); a seminar on public sculpture (which I developed two years ago and am able to teach again); and a new course on art history methods that I developed for our art history majors. In particular, the public sculpture course is just a delight. And, this class is very, very small. I have three students (a number of the seniors took the course with me as sophomores so I have an entirely new lot this time around!). We have been discussing controversies in public art for the first two weeks. Last week we moved on to environmental art in celebration of a global warming teach-in that our college hosted. Many classes over the past few days addressed global warming and environmentalism in their courses. My students and I shared information on environmental art, artists who are activists, and "green" art practices (such as using environmentally safe paints and inks). In addition, my dear colleague, Daniel, led a session on silkscreen. Thankfully, one of the senior art majors showed up. Otherwise, it would have been a lonely time. I guess too much global warming talk makes the ozone, as well as the audience, disappear. 

Another post to follow soon...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A new season

Posting to a blog is more difficult than I had thought it would be. There is the careful balance between what I want everyone to know and, on the other hand, no one to know. It seems the second case has proved more present these past few months.

On this four-month anniversary since my last post, I'll see if I can make more frequent posts here.

Til then,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Aloha - and all that stuff

I am, for three weeks, on a fellowship from the Freeman Institute. I am part of a group of faculty staying at Tokai University on Kapiolani Street in Honolulu, not too far from Waikiki.

The purpose of this trip is offer information and a structured learning wherein faculty can infuse Japanese studies into undergraduate curriculum. I was excited to apply for this fellowship and, given that there are only 19 faculty here, I am more than thrilled to learn from the scholars who are assembled as our panelists and to have been offered such a prestigious opportunity.

So, what do I hope to accomplish in these three weeks? I am not qualified to teach an entire course on Japanese Art. However, my current research project is on globalism. My goal in teaching is to move beyond the introductory treatment in our
textbooks and provide the students with a fuller understanding of all cultures through examination of the visual arts as a reflection of the cultures under study.

Returning to the definition of "decollage" given earlier, I hope, throughout this process to peel away new meanings of the East and West.

Aloha...and all that stuff....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What "femimen"?

Exams and Commencement have now passed and so I am ready to take up blogging again. . . to the question of what "femimen" means, I will explain.

As the last assignment before the comprehensive final exam in my women and art class recently, I gave the students what I thought was an exciting assignment. We had been discussing the important role that women play in the art world. We looked at an essay on "artopia", John Perreault's art diary, which proclaimed the need for an art strike. I quote part of his article here:
"If 60% of the students in art schools are now women, then 60% of the artists in galleries, art magazines, and museums must also be women. Do only men have artistic talent? Can we afford to cut off the vision of more than half the human race? For one day, women artists, dealers, curators, critics, collectors, art gallery receptionists, auction-house staffers, tour guides, art historians, teachers, and students must refuse to participate in an art world dedicated to promoting the work of male artists. Don't show up for work; don't visit any gallery or museum. Don't buy any art. Most of the artists in galleries and museums may be male, but a big percentage of the backup is female - as is the audience, if not the customer base. Male supporters of women artists should also join in, but I fear that among critics it will only be Saltz and yours truly.Could a Women's Art Strike shut down the art world? You bet." taken from

I asked the students, in groups of three, to come up with their own "art strike" on the local, regional, and national or international levels. Students actually complained about this assignment stating that it would be impossible to do. A few groups, however, took right to it and I was pleased that they were interested in this assignment, as it pushes thinking in a different direction.

A group of three upperclassmen were working together and seemed to be coming along on the project. They were trying to locate references that would be relevant to our local culture...we are, after all in the heart of the bluegrass. As their project planning came to a close, they disclosed that they had no catchy title for their group. Offhandedly, I dubbed them "femimen", as in "men who are feminists." The name stuck and when it came time for the students to present their strike plan the following day in class, FEMIMEN won the competition among all of the groups in the class. This was tough competition demanding a finalist vote to break the tie. The runner up was the group who adopted the theme song "Love Can Build A Bridge" with spokespersons Dolly Parton and Ashley Judd.

Yes, I love my job as both an art historian and feminist.