- John Freyer is an artist, author, educator (Associate Professor of Cross Disciplinary Media at VCU's School of the Arts), and MLWGS parent.
- His practice engages accidental audiences in galleries, museums, and public spaces. He explores the role of everyday, personal objects in our lives and investigates how the circulation of objects and stories enrich social ties between individuals and groups.
- Freyer has brought his social practice projects – Free Ice Water, Free Hot Coffee and Free Hot Supper to the TEDx stage.
- He will ride his Free Hot Coffee bike over to Maggie Walker, make some coffee, and then speak about the Free Hot Coffee project that he installed/performed while at the Tate Modern in London.
- Go to FREYER's WEBSITE to learn more!
- Watch his TEDx talk below - and below that is the Lunchtime Lecture.
Sasha Waters Freyer is the Department Chair of Photo/Film @ VCU. From the VCU website: "Trained in photography and the documentary tradition, Sasha Waters Freyer makes non-fiction films about outsiders, misfits and everyday radicals. Her recent feature film, Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable, won a Special Jury Prize at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, was released theatrically in the U.S and Europe, and will air on the PBS series American Masters in spring 2019. Sasha also works in 16mm film, crafting experimental shorts that have explored memory, motherhood and the cultural and political legacies of the late 20th century. Her 16mm film dragons & seraphim premiered at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival in 2017, toured across the U.S., and most recently showed at Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn. More information can be found on her personal website at Pieshake.com"
WATCH THE FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO BELOW. The following links will be used in Ms. Freyer's talk.
Local artist, Kirk O’Brien, shared a slide lecture on the topic of “The Role of Government in Comics”. This fascinating lecture enlightened us on how censorship of the Comics Code Authority shaped the comics industry of today.
His talk also compared the issues of today with those of the 1950s and 60s... Consider how the morality of the messages and imagery presented in comics back then might be analogous to contemporary events and objections to violent video games... The phrase "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" might apply here... think about it.
Comics, like all art, are a product of the times in which they are created. Watch the talk and use the additional resources below to fully understand the context of the comics that were being produced and, in some cases, censored. Then ask yourself:
"Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s seminal text, In Praise of Shadows (1933), discusses Eastern, specifically Japanese, ideals of beauty. Contrary to the Western framework of thinking, Japanese aesthetics favors the in-between, typically discarded or overlooked places of beauty: the grey shadows, the tea ceremony, and even a toilet seat. By looking at examples of Japanese fine and decorative arts, we will discuss Tanizaki’s major ideas concerning Eastern Aesthetics and then apply his understanding to the works in the VMFA permanent collection. "
Lecture given by Amanda Dalla Villa Adams, VMFA faculty and independent curator, art writer, educator, and historian based in Richmond, Virginia. Amanda specializes in post-1945 contemporary art and holds a BFA in sculpture + extended media from VCU, an MA in art history and certificate in museum studies from the University of Cincinnati, and recently left VCU’s PhD program as ABD. She has presented her research domestically and internationally, including the Rothermere Institute at Oxford University. In addition to contributing art criticism for national publications like Artforum, Hyperallergic, and Sculpture magazine, Amanda is an art critic for the alternative-weekly newspaper Style Weekly. Her academic research has appeared in the peer-reviewed journals Art Inquiries and Archives of American Art and Amanda has curated exhibitions of the work of Hoss Haley, Emily Erb, and Carli Holcomb. (some of you will remember seeing 2 of those shows last year @ VIs Arts!).
If you WERE at the lecture: You will have a collection of notes that you can now review and compare with these resources as well as any related information learned in Global Studies. REFLECT on these connections.
If you WERE NOT at the lecture: You will NEED TO RELY ON these resources, any related information learned in Global Studies, AND your own research to make sense of the topic. REFLECT on these connections.
Most lectures take place in the Black Box, from 11:45 am - 12:20 pm, unless noted otherwise.
Alex Norman graduated from Maggie Walker in 2016. She started in Art 2 as a freshman and stayed enrolled in art classes - including Art 5, Photography, and Art History - through her senior year. She is familiar with the stressors of Maggie Walker or any school that has high expectations - and the work-load and rewards that come with. It was her art classes that kept her from going back to her home school, from taking the easy way out, from missing out on the potential that she is now aware of. Art allowed her the opportunity to begin on a path that would guide her to where she is now: VCU School of the Arts, as a Craft and Materials Study major. Art would introduce her to an Eastern philosophy that would further and support her journey by helping her to navigate the purposes of the delicate balance of work and play that is life: WABI-SABI
Alex: "Wabi-sabi, as I’ve come to know it, is a Japanese aesthetic that is less of a style than it is an experience of finding beauty in the ordinary, the imperfect, and the broken; a process of accepting and even embracing the perceived “ugliness” and often uncomfortable emptiness inherent in our day to day lives. In the spring semester of my freshman year I ended up writing a fairly extensive research paper on wabi-sabi and explored the question: in what ways can the embrace of the wabi-sabi aesthetic in life and design contribute to human mental health and wellbeing?"
This is a helpful video, which explains the hard-to-explain the concept of "wabi-sabi" while also describing its connection to the Japanese tea ceremony (don't mimic the way the narrator mis-pronounces "wabi-sabi," however...)
As hard as it is to explain wabi-sabi, it is equally difficult to express what was gained from Alex's lecture. My mind was blown, really. She is mature beyond her years and has a voice that can enthrall and entrance (she is also a singer whose original songs are as raw and powerful as all she spoke about). I hung on every word. I tried to take notes but the words on my page began to seem petty or at least inconsequential compared to the truths that Alex was speaking about. If you missed this lecture, I am truly sad for you - you missed something exceptional. I will document some of my take-aways below but, please know, they don't do her talk justice and may not make much sense if you weren't there.
I hope for all of you the ability to find what drives you, what grounds you, what keeps you happy and productive, and what separates you from the rest. I'd love to know that you found it through studying art - but if not, just find it.
Some things I wrote down:
Here are my notes about Hamilton's journey as an artist and the trials and tribulations of following his passion. There are some additional resources posted below.
Who is HAM? The Online Portfolio
CLICK HERE for a great article on Hamilton Glass
Colleen Hall, a mural painter for 23 years, has a website that will give you a great overview of her work and career: http://www.colleenhall.com/about--press.html
Her Lunchtime Lecture talk was comprehensive and included highlights of past mural projects (which you can see on the website) as well as sage personal/career advice that can easily be applied to anyone's life, artist or not.
CLICK HERE FOR THE PRESENTATION SLIDES
As per her own advice, "keep evolving - don't be afraid to change," she has recently taken on a new direction in her work, especially as inspired by her interest in Social Practice Art. An example of this practice in action is the collaborative mural project that she just completed in downtown Richmond. The videos below highlight the project and its intentions and outcomes.
SAGE ADVICE GLEANED FROM THE TWO SPEAKERS*:
*Please note that these words of wisdom go far beyond the realm of art...
SOMETHING TO BE CURIOUS ABOUT... What is the difference between ART and DESIGN?
Most lectures take place in the Black Box, however, Lecture #1 will be held in the Forum.