Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Art Matters

What is art?  Does it matter?  Some of us might argue that it matters indeed because art is something essential to our humanity.  Many art historians will point to the pre-historic cave paintings as proof of man’s earliest quest to communicate.  It is such communication—and the myriad forms it takes—that causes us to experience art in uniquely subjective ways.  And, we can have conversations, even arguments, about what makes art good (or bad) while relying on objective evidence, such as formal analysis and primary research as well as secondary research and theory.

Returning art majors may have noticed some changes to the campus community--a new face in the galleries and a fun, outdoor area of the Wilson in which to relax and talk.  There is even a new edition to the public sculpture collection: The Stephen D. Elrod Memorial by Amanda Matthews.  Other changes include the departure of two public works installed as part of the temporary exhibition, Live.Learn.Believe., which debuted in 2007.  We will miss the pleasant surprise Allison Warren’s Crossing (After Whitman) gave us as we traversed across the green grass between the Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Building and the Ensor Learning Resource Center.  And, fond memories of actively engaging with the kinetic and participatory Pass the Lace Through the Loop (“see saw” sculpture) at the corner of Mulberry and Jackson Streets, will have to suffice since we can no longer teeter and totter with its creator, our friend and mentor, Professor Daniel Graham.

Very soon, Georgetown College will say good-bye to another landmark, also a part of Live.Learn.Believe., Leticia Bajuyo’s Forces of Nature: Hurricanes and Slinkys, those aesthetically pleasing, hot pink spirals of tubing that burst forth like peonies from the lawn along Memorial Drive, beckoning all visitors to this beautiful campus to stop and consider:  is that art?  Old and new students alike, please consider helping Ms. Bajuyo de-install her piece; ask her questions; learn of her challenges and her successes.  She will be here this Thursday, August 26 around 11:00 a.m.  

Perhaps more importantly, tell non-art majors and other members of our community about the departure of these sculptures.  Ask them whether they enjoyed these works of art while we had the privilege of having them here with us.  You may be surprised at their answers; listen to and agree or disagree with their opinions.  These types of art conversations really do matter.


Earl Grey said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here...yes, art DOES matter and so do the conversations surrounding it:) This includes relevant classroom discussions, critiques, and personal views. Following up on Laura's challenge, above, I would love to hear feedback as to what people think about the departure of our public sculpture and our recent arrival.

Cortney Ragene said...

When I heard about the departure of the beloved Pink slinkys I was somewhat disappointed. The have held a lot of memories for me, from move in day freshman year and taking photos of my mom and dad sitting in them, to the late nights as a freshman when we would take our readings to random spots on campus (including a lot of the sculpture pieces) and do our homework.

Laura, as you know already I am so pleased that you have been hired as our gallery director. You add so much experience to the department!