Here is a post from Keri Asma, MA ’13,on her recent externship to the Hyde Park Art Center. Keri is also one of the MAPH mentors for the upcoming year, so you’ll probably be hearing from her fairly often.
Externships are opportunities for recently graduated or current Master’s and PhD students to shadow alumni in various careers for a day. Rather like extended informational interviews, externships provide students with a chance to explore a particular profession, no prior experience necessary. If you are interested in learning more about externships through the University of Chicago, visit the CAPS website here: https://careeradvancement.uchicago.edu/jobs-internships-research/graduate-student-externships.
The Hyde Park Art Center is, as many of you probably know, a perfect example of the possible intersections between art, community, education, and humanistic inquiry. My externship at the center this summer not only gave me a sense of the individual work of MAPH Alumnae Kate Lorenz and Brook Rosini, but also provided a holistic picture of how their work contributes to a much larger project—one which like MAPH is centered on creating a community which can engage critically, passionately, and excitedly with the arts.
This post will be something between an introduction/plug for the HPAC, a reflection on what I learned, and an encouragement for doing externships. This is just one account of engaging with alumni, with the community, with the arts; there are probably lots more out there.*
Naomi Slipp (MAPH ’09) is a current PhD candidate in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Boston University. As a facet of her studies, she has been planning an exhibition on American art and artistic anatomy, the topic of her dissertation research, since the spring of 2010. Directly inspired by her MAPH thesis written on the bronze anatomical casts of Thomas Eakins at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the two-month long exhibition Teaching the Body: Artistic Anatomy in the American Academy from Copley, Rimmer, and Eakins to Contemporary Artists, opens January 31, 2013 at the Boston University Art Gallery and includes over eighty works of art (many never exhibited before), extensive public programming, and an illustrated catalogue with scholarly essays.
She says of the project: “I feel inspired by artistic anatomy because these works of art visualize the uncharted and wondrous terrain of the human body, not some distant volcano or historical event, but the miraculous, complex mechanisms operating within ourselves. The study of anatomy also, historically, has brought together doctors and artists who sought to explore this corporeal space together.”
Because of this, she is also very excited about the opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration around the exhibition topic. She says: “I want to create a dialogue between these two commonly polarized fields (art and science). To that end, we are initiating collaborative programming with Massachusetts General Hospital, the College of Fine Arts, the BU Medical College & the Center for Science & Medical Journalism at Boston University, and the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. I hope to unite this diverse audience, bringing together people who are interested in art and those who are interested in medicine for a rich, shared conversation about what it means to occupy, treat, & picture our own bodies.”
Every year a handful of students choose the Cultural Policy Option of the MAPH program. Jane Hanna writes about her experience in MAPH, the Cultural Policy and her really cool job at the Field Museum.
How were you involved in the Cultural Policy Center?
MAPH '11 Alumna Jane Hanna
I worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in CPC while I completed the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities in 2010-11. As a MAPH student, I chose the Cultural Policy option, and much of my coursework was taken at the Harris School and Law School. I was looking for an academic program which would allow me to have an interdisciplinary focus, combining my interest in the arts and humanities with my career experience in marketing, and assist me in my aspirations towards a career in museum administration. I’m also a technologist and gamer and my research areas included mobile and social media and the ways in which these complicate traditional museum exhibition, education, and marketing strategies. At CPC, I helped with the preparations for the CultureLab Emerging Practice Seminar 2011, which was focused in part on engaging arts audiences through the use of technology.
Additionally, I was involved with the lunchtime workshop series as both an employee of CPC and an enthusiastic attendee. After graduating, I also participated in the marvelous Future of the City: The Arts Symposium by virtue of my association with CPC. Betty Farrell served as my supervisor as well as my thesis advisor and professor.
What do you do now?
I am the Social Media Strategist for The Field Museum of Natural History here in Chicago. In this capacity, I am responsible for maintaining a broad and ever-growing portfolio of social media pages for the Museum, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Yelp, and many more. I work closely with the scientific staff to develop engaging content that educates and entertains our digital community of fans and supporters.
I also deliver up-to-the-minute news about exhibitions, educational programs, special events, and promotions to the public several times per day, seven days per week. I monitor and evaluate the performance of these pages using Google Analytics and other tracking tools, and continually look for short- and long-term ways through which the Museum can leverage these properties for various strategic purposes. I think I have one of the best jobs at the Field not only because I am uniquely positioned to collaborate with staff working in all of the Museum’s departments, but also because I spend a large portion of my time interacting with our enthusiastic public, answering their questions, inviting them to participate in dialogues and citizen scientist activities, and learning valuable insights from their feedback.
Dance Films Kino is a three-week project that I am presenting as an artist in residence at Hyde Park Art Center, March 4-25, 2012. Over three weeks, I will present 30 works of dance on film, as well as over a dozen live music, dance, and literary readings. All of the programs will be free to the public.
The seeds of this project were planted ten years ago, back when I was a MAPH student sitting in Yuri Tsivian’s intro to film class, learning about how filmmakers whose works were censored, or considered to be too experimental for mainstream distribution, showed films out of their own homes.
The films and performance I am presenting will be shown in an environment inspired by “kinos”, underground, avant-grade art clubs of the 1920s and 30s. I’m currently getting ready to paint the walls of my residency studio red, put out the caberet tables, and art deco objects I’ve sourced from Etsy. I’m creating artwork inspired by movement to hang on the walls of the space.
My first goal is to show movies in a place that feels like someone’s home, so that people are a little more willing to give something they’ve never seen before a try. My second goal is to bring all kinds of artists, writers, musicians, dance makers and filmmakers together to create a lot of different points of access into the work.
My third goal is to invite people to help create the space by imagining what it would be like to be a part of an underground society, to feel nostalgia for a fictional place situated in the past. I think there is a collective desire to engage in this type of activity. I think it is part of the reason why bars inspired by speakeasies are so popular, and why people like to fantasize about travel, even in tough economic times.
More on how Sarah arrived at this point after the jump
It’s 2010, and the week before graduating from MAPH, I walk into an art gallery with my best friend. We’re intellectual equals, this friend and I, but I’ve studied art history formally and he hasn’t, and he is painfully aware of this fact. He doesn’t form an opinion without immediately turning to me for confirmation, validation, and general assurance that he gets it.
And I try to tell him that’s silly and self-defeating. I try to make my friend understand that he’s free to find a given piece of art life-changing or yawn-inducing or anything in between, and to drive that point home, I try to humanize the sainted artists whose work we’re both trying to get.
Penitent Hour – Ruth Gregory
I joke about Marcel Duchamp being foremost a provocateur and a jerk (which he was), and about how so many pre-Renaissance paintings feature baby Jesuses who look like Mikhail Gorbachev in miniature (which they do). But that just makes things worse. What my friend hears is simply that I know lots of stuff, and that he should shut up because he doesn’t know nearly as much stuff as I do. He stops offering opinions, and so I clam up, too. We walk around in silence for a while.
This time next year, I’ll be the Founding Director of a new, online art gallery. I’ll be clicking that last “OK” button that will peel back the Under Construction page from our website, and I’ll be thinking about my friend, and about how badly I want to help smart-but-intimidated people like him find artwork that they’ll love.
More about Drew’s work running Gray Blush Gallery after the jump. . .
Here’s a thoughtful piece from Diego Arispe-Bazan (MAPH 2011), who worked as a MAPH intern at the Smart Museum on campus after graduation. Diego talks about his work, focusing on the introduction of new technologies into the gallery experience and curatorial practice.
Here’s an excerpt:
The debate on interpretive technologies was lively among the Smart interns. It centered on the issue of how multiplicity in experience could be flattened out. The argument is not without basis: interpretive technology, used indiscriminately, can turn a gallery into an arcade. In fact, certain visitors who shared this view eschewed the iPads entirely. However, through my observation and the comments gathered from the museum guards, it became clear that those who chose to pick up the iPads were eager to embrace the integration of interactive digital media into the gallery experience.
Check out this video featuring Judy Hecker (MAPH 97), Associate Curator in the Prints and Illustrated Books Department at MoMA in New York. She gives an introduction to her most recent curatorial effort, Impressions from South Africa, which runs through August 29. Judy studied art history at the University of Chicago as a MAPHer in the program’s inaugural class. Keep an eye out for her upcoming profile in Tableau. The cover story of the fall issue will be “A Brief History of MAPH” offering some perspective on the successes and challenges that the program has faced since its inception.
After studying art history in MAPH, recent graduate Emma Stein ’10 is now the Gallery Director of Robert Bills Contemporary. Robert Bills Contemporary is a new gallery located in Chicago’s prestigious West Loop gallery district. Named one of the top ten new galleries featured at Next 2010 on the Chicago Tribune’s Next Hotlist, the gallery opens its doors for the first time on September 10th. The owner, Robert Bills is also a University of Chicago graduate. He completed his MBA in ’89.
The gallery’s first exhibition, oil, toil, WALLS, and foil, examines the tactics four artists employ to negotiate the fine line that divides figuration and abstraction. The exhibition investigates how each artist demonstrates his or her unique artistic vocabulary in a way that challenges the longstanding art-historical binary. While the individual artists each represent a dramatically different approach to the problem, the common thread that binds them together is the clarity of their distinctive artistic vision as it is demonstrated with remarkable skill.
Emma and Robert Bills Contemporary invite all MAPH graduates and their friends and family to attend the gallery’s fall opening reception on September 10th, from 6-9 pm. The gallery is located at 650 West Lake Street, on the lower level. For more information about the gallery or inquires about the reception, please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAPH Alum Karsten Lund’s show “Beyond the Backyard” at the Museum of Contemporary Photography is getting rave reviews for its exploration of the public and private, identity, and the suburban landscape through photographs and videos by more than fifty artists. (Reviews below)
Beginning on June 16th and running through August 23, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College downtown Chicago will be showing its newest exhibit entitled, Beyond the Backyard. This exhibit offers up the works of contemporary photographers and their different conceptions of the modern backyard. These pictures include both yard scenes of small town and urban settings, re-envisioning the traditional conception of the American backyard and looking at some of its deeper, ideological and cultural significances. This show calls in to question how one understands and thinks of the backyard and compares these ideas with popular media conceptions, analyzing how these two align, or don’t align.
Special MAPH kudos for this event go to MCoP collections research fellow and MAPH Alum Karsten Lund (’07) who has written the essay introducing and describing the collection (much more succinctly and poignantly than I have done here), as well as made many of the crucial decisions concerning the exhibit’s layout and design.
The show is open to the public beginning June 16th and there will be an opening reception for the exhibit at the MCoP on Thursday, June 26 from 5-7pm.