Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Musings about the importance of art and art education

Fridays Super Session-Art Talk with Janine Antoni

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 3:25 PM

So, a little bit of back story before I begin...
When completing my undergraduate degree I had to create an exhibit of my artwork AND a thesis paper.  The paper didn't have to be about my artwork because it was a requirement I had to fulfill for my scholarship.  At the time I was completely obsessed with installation art, a type of art that at the time was really just starting to gain notoriety and emerge as one of the foremost avant garde forms of artistic expression.  What does this have to do with NAEA and Antoni...? I did my thesis paper ON HER WORK!

Needless to say I was ECSTATIC to see her speak.  What was really amazing was the way she discussed the progression f her art pieces.  The main crux of her address being the artistic process..

One part I found particularly interesting was when she cited a quantitative study of how a scientist tested over 5,0000 kindergarten aged students and asked them to come up with uses for a paperclip.  98% of those children score at genius level, finding over 200 uses each!  The scientist then studied the same children at age 10, where by only 30 some-odd percent scored genius level, and finally the students were again tested at age 15 where only 12% scored genius level.  The main question being raised after hearing the results of a study like this; what happens to children and their ability to creatively problem solve as they progress into adulthood?  
Antoni brought up a few key points regarding the importance of creative problem solving and the artistic process.  She didn't get overly scientific or education-related but she did use anecdotes from her own life and images from her artwork past and present to discuss her journey as an artist, and more recently as a mentor/teacher of Columbia MFA students. 
To be honest, I teared up a bit, it was so wonderful to hear her speak and learn firsthand where the inspiration and ideas from her work come from in her life.  I wish I could recorded the whole speech and posted it here for you but it just wasn't feasible...Pictures will have to do, but I highly recommend learning about some of her work and if you ever have the opportunity, go see her art in person, It's a wonderful experience!