Brian Barr’s Intro to Painting Class Moves Confidently
I am very satisfied with the relationship between the Russell Industrial Center and the College for Creative Studies classes that rent out space for a short period of time. It’s the end of the semester and that means the students’ final projects are being activated in satellite spaces from CAVE and other spaces in the Russell to the North End Studios and others that I may not even know about. One thing is for sure though, while having a personal studio space for a student to work in may seem like more than enough, having a dedicated space to install and show work publicly is paramount. I think back to my days at Michigan State hanging up artwork without the knowledge that certain people ‘controlled’ certain walls, and eventually, perhaps I won that battle of public wall space because I was asked to put artwork up in their Kresge lobby a year later. In my art education classes we went over how putting students’ work on display enhances the meaningfulness of making; they set higher expectations. These students are practicing creating work with an audience in mind, with parameters that are only set by the size limitations of the doorway and creating higher quality work out of a passion that is revealed when given the right canvas. This idea of space as ‘crucial opportunity’ was echoed when I attended the College Art Association Annual Conference in Chicago where both Bethany Taylor (teaching at University of Florida) and Michelle Ann Grabner (teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) showed quality piece after piece by their first year art students. The students take ownership of the space they are to work within and are probably challenged to do something even more interesting than the previous class.
Below is an impromptu iPhone video I took of Brian Barr’s Intro to Painting course show (my audio recording is not ideal and a band was playing pretty loud through the thin walls) and Mira’s Soft Sculpture class is up next to debut in the Russell. See you there.