Something I loved about studying art history in college was learning about history-history through it. I mostly glazed over in history classes in high school and college but art really does make events come alive. visual, music, theatre. How did art change during the Renaissance? Industrial revolution? Great depression?
How will art change in the 2020s? We’ve been through an incredible rupture in the way we approach each other, things, politics, life! I’m really, really looking forward to watching art evolve before my eyes as we experience big events in what will become history. Some day an art historian will tell a person who did not live through the Coronavirus COVID 19 pandemic about how much we touched each other before, how our concepts of cleanliness changed, and representations of groups of people took on whole new meaning for people who were very, very isolated. Let’s see what other ways art can bring us together, whether physically or spanning the internet and world.
When I first knew I’d go to grad school, I wasn’t sure what for. I just knew that my brand new BA in Art History from a state school that most people outside the state have never heard of wasn’t going to get me far.
A few years after finishing undergrad working at a doctor’s office, I was feeling a little antsy and got an idea. I wanted to start a community arts center. To me museums were (and are) like church. Spiritual, contemplative places that are technically open to everyone but lots of people who may appreciate art do not feel at home there. I wanted to bridge the gap between the Art Institution and the person who could benefit from making or being around art (ahem, everyone). I started to explore graduate programs. To get into communities, to connect with people, you go through the kids. My plan was to have after school art classes, maybe in a building where there are studios behind and common areas in front. Give artists discounts or free rent for teaching art classes to the kids.
So I looked at art education programs – I would learn all about arts education, while also looking into nonprofit management on my own. Then, to my surprise & joy, The Ohio State University’s huge, excellent Art Education Department contained a program called “Arts Administration.” This is a thing! I found others and applied to 4 Art Administration programs (NYU, Ohio State, Indiana, and Oregon) and University of Texas’s Art Ed program.
I talked to friends and family about the idea, they all had input about what sorts of arts would need to be in a proper community arts center. ALL of them! Continue reading