The “Art Evangelist”

Coming into this class, I don’t believe anyone expected what the first week brought forth. Sure we knew we’d discuss and meet the artist behind this large community art project, but we never expected to be asked to bring our personal beliefs and talents to the first day in the Kinetic gallery.Facing two blank walls, Steve Prince directed us to add illustrations to them. Encouraging us to draw whatever we deemed “problematic” on one side, or “beneficial” to the other. That idea was daunting in many ways. Many of us labeled ourselves as inartistic, while others just didn’t know where to start.  Personally I was thrilled, especially with the recent removal of Geneseo’s arts program. It provided a chance for some hands on learning. You don’t get many opportunities with lecture based classes, especially with my biology major and chemistry minor. 

Professor McCoy was very engaged with the idea of bringing together all departments and different aspects to this class. She encouraged many to reflect our different majors in class discussions and posts. Previously I disregarded and correlation between science and art, but Mr. Prince’s comments during his residency changed my mind. Science provides many of the materials needed for art. From paints, watercolors, and to the adhesives used, science is needed to create them. Steve also correlated art with math. The proportions in a photo to create depth from a 2D object incorporate mathematics. After those discussions, it was easy to see how this class is interdepartmental.

In addition to reflecting on my major’s connection to art, I also was able to reflect on the issues the community displayed on the walls. Participating in the community project sparked many polarizing conversations. For example, the Sing Sing depiction on the “uprooting” wall illuminated the injustice for African Americans within the justice system. These topics usually aren’t discussed, and are often uncomfortable realities to face. Steve uses his art to illuminate world problems, hence the “art evangelist” nickname, and encouraged us to do the same when adding to the community project. By starting the difficult conversations, change can be enacted. I look forward to engaging in these conversations in class through the rest of the semester.

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