MALS July 2011 Seminar: African Art and the Environment
The MALS July 2011 Seminar topic was also the subject of an exhibition on display in the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore from February 5th to July 31st, 2011. The curator of that exhibit was also the seminar instructor, Professor Lisa Aronson. Professor Aronson taught the seminar in the Tang Museum where students had daily opportunities to interact with the art and the museum space itself.
Because Professor Aronson is both the academic voice of the exhibit and its curator, seminar students had a chance to learn about the curatorial process as well as engage with a moving set of issues surrounding Africa and environmental sustainability.
One of the artists highlighted in the exhibit was also on campus during the seminar. Professor Susan Vogel's film "Fold, Crumple, Crush: The Art of El Anatsui" was screened during the seminar, followed by an open discussion with students about her experience curating the art that the film highlights.
The Student Experience
"This has been a distinguished experience - not just intellectually stimulating but emotionally engaging at a visceral level..."
"This is without a doubt one of the better courses I have taken, mostly because of Lisa Aronson. She was incredibly knowledgeable, but very laid back and approachable."
"The face to face interaction and exchange is the most enlightening and exhilarating aspect and far exceeds other graduate courses."
From the Professor
"To be honest, I cannot remember teaching a class that was as stimulating and insightful as this one. I loved having the opportunity to build on the ideas associated with my Environment and Object exhibition at the Tang, and the students seemed to appreciate and learn from it as well."