PenArt’s newest program — Conversations on Creativity — is your chance to come together with other learners to talk about art and artists. Each month we’ll cover a new topic - from what is creativity and how the creative process works, to aesthetics, the art market and inspiring artists. We’ll explore the topic through articles, podcasts, videos, and/or books. Join us for coffee and lively discussion from 3-5pm on the third Wednesday of the month.
No reservations are necessary and the program is free and open to all.
Links to the monthly read/watch/listen will be made available on this webpage or sign up to be added to the mailing list.
The word kitsch originated in the 19th century to criticize art seen as being in poor taste, or which hopelessly copied “high” art but remained mediocre. Kitsch suffered its most serious intellectual blow in art circles when critic Clement Greenberg railed against it in a famous 1939 essay, in which he claimed it offensive to progressive, avant-garde art since it pandered to the masses. Two short videos introduce the lives and work of Kings of Kitsch Jeff Koons and Thomas Kinkade. Explore the praise and criticism they’ve both received from passersby, collectors, and arts writers and historians alike. Compare and contrast their work against one another as well as other art giants working with similar ideas, subject matter, and/or materials, yet without the kitsch label.
Explore the intersection of art, technology, and the market. We'll start with quick introduction through the British Art Council's What is Digital Art? Then, we'll learn more about the development of the field in Casey Reas's presentation History of the Future, Art & Technology from 1965-Yesterday at the 2015 Gray Area Festival. Finally, we'll see how technology is affecting the art market through a PBS segment on blockchain technology.
Artists' interactions with the landscape have created a very different kind of modern art - and make us look again at the world around us. We'll start off with the origins of the movement in PBS The Art Assignment's The Case for Land Art. After that, we'll take an in depth look at the work of major artists working in the field today, including Andy Goldsworthy's beautiful stone sculptures and James Turrell's extraordinary sky spaces, in the BBC documentary Forest, Field and Sky: Art Out of Nature. We'll end by hearing from two artists whose works call attention to environmental justice in excerpts from Art Basil Conversations: Confronting Climate Change Denial.
Visual Intelligence is the ability to see what's there that others don't, and to see what's not there that should be. We'll test our own visual intelligence, and through a Google Talk with Author Amy E. Herman, we'll discover how artists and creatives use visual intelligence and uncover whether we can really improve our own visual intelligence. For additional reading, check out Amy's book, Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life.
See how evocative color can be while matching brands with their associated trademarked colors and learn their histories. Find out what happens when a company producing the world’s blackest black decides it can be used by only one artist in the 99% Invisible episode Their Dark Materials. For additional reading, check out the New York Times article “What Is the Perfect Color Worth?”
We'll start off with this month with a bit of humor and a short video with Jerry Saltz. After that we'll watch a video of Steve Martin in conversation with Peter Schjeldahl, critic for the New Yorker. Steve and Peter discuss art speak, Peter’s journey from poet to critic, specific artworks and Peter’s process for examining them, and the merits of bad art.
Watch and discuss the documentary The Creative Brain by neuroscientist and best-selling author, David Eagleman. Explore the stories of accomplished professionals from across the creative spectrum and unravel the creative process.