Posts Tagged ‘art’
On Thursday, January 17, the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers-Camden welcomed Camden residents and the campus community to its newest exhibit “Visions of Camden and an Artist’s Talk with featured artist Mickey O’Neill McGrath. In his talk Brother McGrath praised Visions of Camden for offering a counter-narrative to the negative stories written by major media outlets. The Camden he lives, works, and creates in is a place of great hidden beauty.
Upcoming public programming offered at the Stedman Gallery will explore other visions of Camden past and present, with community leaders, historians, writers and artists. Read more.
70 x 7 The Meal act L, Tate Modern, City London
Lucy + Jorge Orta 2006
Table set for an estimated 8000 guests, silkscreen printed table runner and Royal Limoges porcelain plates
Copyright the artists
Courtesy of the artists
Photographer: Anna Kubelik
In October 2013, an estimated 2,000 people will gather in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a meal organized by French artists Lucy and Jorge Orta. The event, which is part of the artists’ ongoing public art project called 70×7 The Meal, provides a useful lens for examining the overlap between the public humanities and academia. 70×7 is clearly intended for public consumption (literally), and although it is not an academic project, it engages many of the values of that world.
The project began in 2002, and the Philadelphia event will represent its 34th iteration. The name of the project reflects the basic concept of the event: seven guests invite seven more to a communal meal. The artists de-centralize the task of generating a guest list in order to create an economically, socially, and ethnically diverse group of attendees. The meal is not only intended to feed the bodies of the participants, but also to challenge their minds through exposing them to a diverse group of people. Read more.
CAMDEN — A colorful and diverse display of artwork and artifacts will provide a unique perspective on the rich history of the City of Camden during a special exhibition at the Rutgers–Camden campus that will open Thursday, Jan. 17.
“Visions of Camden” will feature a wide array of media to present an impressionistic view of Camden’s history. The exhibition at the Stedman Gallery on the Rutgers–Camden campus is free of charge and open to the public, and will run through March 1. Read more.
By Linda Shopes
If buildings define a place, then the structures designed by Philadelphia architect Frank Furness (1839 – 1912) define the Philadelphia region as an industrial powerhouse of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ranging from the commercial to the residential, the industrial to the civic, Furness buildings in their form, materials, modes of construction, and aesthetic took inspiration from this “workshop of the world” and shaped notions of the modern. This is the animating vision of the Furness Festival, commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of Furness’s death, currently underway in Philadelphia; and one Festival organizer George E. Thomas hopes will move our understanding of Philadelphia away from the “ancestor worship of 1776” and towards an appreciation of the region as a center of an energetic creativity. Read more.
Last month I pondered the inequity between the support art organizations receive as compared to public history ones. I hope it led some of you to check into what the numbers are in your own state. When I first found out not only was state funding so disparate in Maryland but that the offices overseeing the distribution of that funding were in such different parts of the government, I was surprised and puzzled. Why is the arts council under the auspices of the Department of Business and Economic Development, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, when the historical trust is placed in the Office of Planning?
This indicates to me a couple of things. One, that the state recognizes the arts have a place in its overall efforts to encourage business, mostly I think through encouraging film makers to bring their productions to the state. The other is that there is some sort of disconnect between the value of history to tourism and the economy. Here in Maryland, and I wager in your states, we hear a lot about heritage tourism. Those in the tourism industry say people who are mainly interested in historical activities and in visiting historic sites and museums not only spend more money than average tourists, but also stay longer. So wouldn’t it make sense to place the agency representing those sites that are so attractive to tourists under the Division of Tourism as well?
But enough about state funding. What about public perception? After all, we non-profits get most of our money from donations by individuals, memberships and contributions from private foundations and businesses. I’ve brought up the topic of unequal monetary support with colleagues and friends to see what they had to say. In a very unscientific review of the issue, I found that among the general public (those who aren’t in “the business” ) there is little distinction between art museums and history museums – they consider both to belong under the heading “arts & culture.” Unfortunately, in reality the culture in arts & culture rarely includes history.
Among the general public, as well as among my artist friends and art-related non-profit counterparts, the fact that history isn’t at least funded the same as them, if not better, comes as a surprise. I still remember the incredulous look on the face of the executive director of one arts organization to whom I mentioned this disparity. We have all heard of the “starving artist” but “starving public historians” are real but not recognized.
I’ve heard a number of theories as to why the arts are funded, on the whole, at a much higher level than history. Some have said it is the prestige. Getting to go to glitzy galas, hobnobbing with wealthy art collectors, opera aficionados and symphony supporters, help to elevate one’s perception of one’s position in the community. Supporting the arts brings a civilizing effect to the community. I think that might be part of it, but I also think it has a lot to do with money and fame. After all, if you support a theater you never know if one of the actors will become a Hollywood star, if you support a film festival one of those film makers just might be another Steven Spielberg, that starving artist just might be the next Andy Warhol. When did you last hear of a millionaire historian?