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
Leaving Brooklyn, oy vei!
After 10 years in Brooklyn, NY, I have returned to my home state of Texas. I left Dallas in 2005 to go to graduate school full-time in Visual Arts Administration at New York University. After completing the program in 2 years, my husband Jonah and I stayed on in our adopted city of Brooklyn for 8 more. We returned in August 2015 and are currently based in Waco.
Two things I miss about NYC so far: street art and fall color
We had a blast in “The City” and we’re making the most of our time in Texas while we’re relatively unscheduled. I’ve visited lots of museums and art organizations in our short time back, it’s fun to be a tourist in a place you already know. Fort Worth has long been a favorite because of the wonderful Kimbell and I had a chance to visit the Fort Worth Modern’s new permanent collection re-installation (more on that in a later post), and to have a tiny peek into their since-opened Kehinde Wiley survey as it was being installed. Rumor has it that the artist thinks it looks better in Fort Worth than at its first stop at the Brooklyn Museum. (Don’t worry BK, you’re still one of my favorites!)
Speaking of the Brooklyn Museum, one of their current shows is an exhibition we saw during its first stop at Austin’s Blanton, Impressionism and the Caribbean: Fransisco Oller and His Transatlantic World (through Jan. 3, 2016). Absolutely worth your time if you are able to see it. There are quite a few lovely Oller paintings, a few pieces by familiar masters (Cézanne, Monet, Church, Homer)*, and several of the contextual pieces by less-known contemporaries were what really took my breath away.
My favorite of the Oller works in the exhibition, very Courbet.
A nice surprise from our August visit to the Blanton was Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm (through Nov. 15, 2015). Exploring the earliest, darkest Grimm fairy tales, the artist envisions key scenes from both well-known and unknown Grimm stories in vibrant, sometimes disturbing drawings. The exhibition is a quickie-but-goodie, and the catalogue is high on my Christmas list.
* Big props to the museums that own these artworks for having their info available online! My beloved Brooklyn Museum, and the Wadsworth Athenaeum