Fall 2008


Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-91


Wendy T. Ewald (Section 02)


This course will examine the approaches of various contemporary artists to creating collaborative work. Over the last two decades a growing number of artists have adopted a mode of working that is radically different from the common modernist model. These artists are working as collaborators with people or groups outside the world of art--children, senior citizens, sanitation workers, or residents of a particular neighborhood These artists often create work “with,” not “for” a community and share decision making with people not ordinarily given a place in the museum or other official “art world” sites. The results are artworks that express a variety of social and aesthetic positions. In general, the work is intertwined with progressive educational philosophies and radical democratic theory. Some of the issues examined will be: What is the special attraction for artists of working collaboratively? What are the roles of the artist, community and audience? How does one attribute quality or success to collaborative projects? What is the relationship between process and product? This course will examine the work of artists working in various media. Students will be asked to work with community institutions in Amherst or Holyoke to produce collaborative work. Artists Rick Lowe and Ewald will lead a collaborative mural project culminating in an exhibit of plans and events. Weekly class discussions will provide students the opportunity to reflect upon their own experiences and observations as artists. They will also read about and discuss collaboration, social issues and pedagogy as it relates to the young people they will be working with. Requisite: One course in practice of art. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Visiting Artist Ewald.