|Participant in the "Chalkboard Collective" as part of|
Heather Hart's Bartertown, People's Economy held
at the Brooklyn Musuem in October 2014.
For our final reading group meeting of 2015 we will look at a few artists who make work that offers an exchange or participatory component to the public as part of their art practice. This work falls under the larger theme of socially engaged art, a form of art that I practice. Although my own practice is not object-based anymore, I am essentially a maker. The act of making something for someone (though now this might be intangible or even dialogical,) is a natural impulse for me. I think this is true for many artists, at least at the starting point of their careers. For this reason I have also included a review of The Gift by Lewis Hyde. This is a very interesting book all creative types may find interesting and is available through our library.
The artists we will look at are: Lee Mingwei, Heather Hart, and Pablo Helguera. We will focus on specific projects by each artist that mesh with our theme of the gift. All three artists have made many other interesting works that diverge from our specific theme, so check them out! There are many more wonderful artists and projects we could have looked at, but there simply isn’t enough space or time here.
The good news is I was asked to teach an Intro to the Visual Arts course at Siena College and they have given me free rein to develop the course. So the title of this course is: Introduction to Socially Engaged Art. For those of you interested, I will continue our monthly meetings into 2016, using the same curriculum I have developed for this college course. We will be using a small but very thoughtful book by Pablo Helguera titled: Education for Socially Engaged Art: a materials and technique handbook. Since he is also one of the artists featured for the gift, I have include a pdf of the first chapter to wet your appetite. You can purchase this slim volume for just $9.95 through amazon (or I can loan you a copy.)