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Monthly Archives: May 2010

AAD 550 – ART IN SOCIETY (Blandy and Fenn)

Course objectives:

  1. The way art has influenced society/culture through time.
  2. The way technology has influenced art to influence society/culture through time.
  3. Use my findings to influence my professional statement.
  4. Find out the ways that our findings influence my colleague’s professional statements/goals.

Post- Course analysis:

  1. The focus of the course was more of how society/culture has influence art, and it was more about the last 50 years or so. I would have appreciated a bit of a more historical overview at the beginning of the term, but the focus of the course was more topical, so the history that we gained from the resources in the course were contextual and helpful.
  2. We definitely talked about this a lot. Again, not from so much of a historical/timeline orientation, but in more casual discussion, and as a foundation to the discussions about current and future affects of technology on art and society. I really appreciated and was engaged by our discussions about the future of media, art, and society.
  3. I don’t know that this course has altered the way that I view my professional statement, but I do think that it’s possible that it will frame actions in my professional career.
  4. I would say that this course has probably changed some of my colleague’s professional outlooks. The topics that we discussed through our modules are very relevant, and potentially eye-opening.

While it doesn’t seem that I’ve met some of my course objectives, I am not a big fan of the pre-course objective statements. In most cases, I would rather be open to what my professors want to share with me than what I am looking to get out of the course, since I am the less educated person in the course topic.

Overall, I feel that this course instigated interesting beginning discussion on the topic of art and society.

During my walk around town, I took pictures of the little brass animal sculptures along Broadway street, as well as a couple of murals.

But now I have to figure out what to do with the art that I cannot find any research on…I am currently trying to find some information about the brass animals- perhaps about the artist or when they were installed- but there wasn’t any information about them on the street near the sculptures, and I haven’t found anything online yet.

The field guides that I have read are special because they offer inside information on the world they are describing. But is it enough to say that these sculptures are here? To have images of them? Hopefully I will find some more information.

EDIT: I did find some information on the Eugene city website, at least with the artist name…I added the link to my Diigo.

Today I began to lay out my field guide in InDesign.

I quickly realized that even the 100-200 words that I wrote for each piece is too long, especially when I’m hoping to incorporate pictures for each piece and still keep the book small enough to carry around easily (if it were to ever be published, as field guides should be).

But I’m really enjoying being able to take my research and synthesis and put it into a visual element, in a way that makes sense to me. It’s that curatorial effect that allows you to take everything you’ve learned, process it, and output something creative. Especially because my field guide is about art, it’s nice to be able to feel like I am contributing to the creative process, even if it’s through a digital medium.

Introduction to the public art at the Eugene Public Library

When I first moved to Eugene, I spent quite a bit of time at the Eugene Library. My apartment is only a couple of blocks away, and because I did not have Internet access at first, I would go to the library to check my email, study, and, of course, read. Visits to the library were a common happening while I was growing up, and this library supports that habit very well. The library was finished in 2002, and has a commissioned art collection worth over $200,000.

The library’s art collection process was a common one in Eugene: a committee was formed, community meetings were planned, and a call for artists was released. About sixty artists submitted proposals for art, and seven were chosen. Each project contributes to the idea that the library is a literary haven, a multi-generational gathering place, a reincarnation of a historical structure, a place to expand the mind and imagination, and a collection of the community.

-The section on the Eugene Library will focus on each of the seven commissioned artists projects, with visual representation.

For Art and Society this term, we are each working on a field guide of an art world/environment. I have chosen to research and report on Public Art in Eugene. You can see my introduction to the field and my proposed project here.

I’m keeping a Diigo list of resources regarding the policy of public art, and public art resources for Oregon, and more specifically, Eugene. This list can be accessed here.

So far, I have chosen to focus mainly on the art collections found at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, and the Eugene Public Library. These are two of the main sites that the Eugene City website suggests for viewing the city’s public art collection, and they fit nicely within my geographic parameters.

One thing I have been contemplating is whether I want to focus on only commissioned public art. There are more than enough commissioned pieces in my geographic area to write a field guide on those. However, one definition for public art that I have latched on to says that “public art is any work of art or design that is created by an artist specifically to be sited in a public space…Public art can make strangers talk, children ask questions, and calm a hurried life” (http://nnpaf.org/what_is_art.html). That last part is what I really enjoy about public art: that it is constantly making me pause to contemplate the art, regardless of where I am going. Often, the art that makes me stop in my tracks is not necessarily commissioned work.

I am planning to take a walk this week, and take some pictures of the art I see, and I am hoping that this will help me focus my field guide.