Students examine current issues in Art 2020
The students taking Art 2020 in Block 2 grappled with many timely social, political, and cultural issues and funneled their ideas into artistic creations.
They examined tough questions. Can art bring about broader social, political, environmental, or economic change? How can art be a form of activism?
Associate Professor of Art Susannah Biondo-Gemmell created the class in a flexible way so that students learning on campus or from home could participate.
“I am excited about the course and the work the students made,” Biondo-Gemmell said. “They developed thoughtful, creative visual responses to challenging times.”
The students produced three large projects.
Project 1: 2020 Textile Collage Quilt
Each student chose a current social, political, or cultural event (or series of events) to investigate and represent in an individual textile “quilt” block. The class then worked together to create a collaborative Art 2020 textile “quilt” to visually represent their collective experience during the year.
Project 2: Art 2020 Sculptural Mask Project
Students started off by listening to a series of interviews and lectures to gain a better understanding of the mask as an object, considering its role from experts across disciplines. Then, each student created their own mask form using a sculptural paper mache process in order to investigate their own relationship with masks in our current climate.
Project 3: Public Art Proposal and Design Project
After learning about the role of artists working in public art today, each student created a written proposal and visual design for a community-engaged public artwork. The students could use analogue (such as drawing or collage), digital, or a combination of processes to execute their designs. The designs were then digitally archived and cataloged in their virtual portfolios for the course.
The young artists also left the course with a full display of the work they created.
“Each student is creating a virtual art portfolio documenting both the creative process and artistic product during the course,” Biondo-Gemmell said. “The virtual portfolio became a digital documentation of each student’s creative journey throughout the course, including in-progress and final documentation of artwork, their creative sources, and a virtual journal with daily entries.”
The Cornell community can see the works created for the Textile Collage Quilt and Sculptural Mask Project in Cole Library, behind the circulation desk on the third floor, until the end of Block 3.
Art piece by: Ariana Ramirez