We live in a world of images. Visual images exist on the Internet, billboards, books, movies, museums, etc. However, many people do not understand how to process them. Helping us in that task is Knox College’s Art Club.
According to post-baccalaureate Alex Robertson and head of Art Club, their goal is to “get people into the system and slowly process things without being in an official class.” The idea is to create a low-pressure environment where it is up to students how much they would like to be involved. Students are free to “talk about art with people who are like-minded and can also start collaborations between work skill sets.” They have had a good turn out so far, with many students outside the department showing up for the first meeting. People come out of curiosity and stay because they are genuinely interested, rather than the normal eat-and-leave.
If Art Club catches your interest, you can further your knowledge in some of the new and intriguing classes being offered this year. For example, Tim Stedman ’09 and now a visiting assistant professor of art, is offering two classes: one is a class based on the study of collage — dealing with a “fringe” set of mediums in art, rather than the traditional skills such as drawing, painting, sculpture or ceramics. It allows one to mix mediums in one class. The other class focuses on the fundamentals of design — approaching design from a more basic standpoint, where visual perception and the development of the eye are important, without worrying about technicalities or logistics. Most of the class is actually done by hand rather than by computer. According to Gregory Gilbert, the associate professor and director of the art history program, “we [the art department] are trying to, in a way, recommit to design and create fundamental design courses, new media and digital technologies.”
An exciting part of some art classes is scheduled trips to Chicago and New York. The course Knox in New York, offered during fall term by Tony Gant, allows students to study the art scene in New York. It combines Studio Art and Art History, covering movements from the early 20th century to the contemporary scene. Over winter break, students will be visiting New York galleries and museum collections, present a research project and attend classes and lectures at the New York Studio School. More generalized is the Chicago Art Trip, an opportunity for all interested art students to visit Chicago and its museum collections.
However, you do not have to travel to Chicago or New York in order to dive into the art scene. You can see and analyze art here at Knox. The biggest upcoming event is the Homecoming Show that begins on October 14th. Frederick Ortner, who taught painting and chaired the Knox Art Department from 1979 to 2002 and is now a Professor of Art at Louisiana State University, is giving a talk about his work that will be held in the Round Room in CFA. Furthermore, there will be smaller shows of student work throughout this year.
Starting last year, Knox began the Artist Residencies where the Art Department invites an artist to come and work in studios. Lisa Sanders is this year’s artist resident, working in the studio at the Box but also teaching sculpture. She will be showing students her method of working and will be preparing an exhibition of her art later this year.