The Value of ‘Kitchen Talk’

A few weeks ago, I attended the Steve Prince lecture “Kitchen Talk: The Art of Steve Prince” in the Doty Recital Hall. I’ve been to other events of Steve Prince’s like his “Urban Garden” Community Project and I really enjoyed the way he incorporated the students of Geneseo into his artwork. He wanted us to work on the art project with him and be a part of the experience. I’ve never experienced anything like that, and it really spoke to me.

I never had a big interest in art before this semester. Since I attended Prince’s lecture and participated in the “Urban Garden” exhibit, I have started to really enjoy looking at art and trying to read into it. At the Kitchen Talk lecture when Prince was going over all the different kinds of pieces he has made for this exhibit, I found myself looking closer and not just at the bigger image. One piece that I really enjoyed looking at was the Rosa Parks, 1955 piece. Prince created such a beautiful piece showing how Rosa Parks stood up for what she believed in. He portrayed Parks in a very tough, strong-minded manner. One way he did this was how he drew her posture. Her posture showed that she will never give up her spot, her arms and legs were crossed, and her head was turned the other way. Her body posture is portraying that she will not listen to you and she stood her ground. Prince also drew all other characters like the bus driver and conservationists, but also the pedestrians outside the bus in the background. He portrayed them boycotting this situation of them taking the bus. They were holding signs and everything.  One thing Prince said that stuck with me was that this piece also connects to today’s world because these issues are still circulating in our communities.

After this Prince went on to explain how important it is to him that we talk to one another about the artwork. He stressed that conversations are very important when looking at artwork. So, at the end of the lecture he had everyone in the audience come down on the stage with him and get in one big circle. This way we could have a conversation about his art and not have it be just a lecture. Open discussions add a point of view that others may not have seen if we had not had a conversation. I also agree that having a discussion is very important and I really enjoy this. We also do this in class, and we call it open discussions. We get into small groups of around 5 people in Dr. McCoy’s class and we talk about the readings we had the night before or about a poem that was given to us in class. Open discussions are important because without them we can get stuck in just thinking about an idea in one way. With open discussions we can bounce ideas off one another and hear other people’s point of views.  It opens our eyes to different perspectives and that is crucial in an English environment. Without hearing other people, we won’t be able to form connections with other people and understand other people’s views. For example, if we look at our group blog posts, we would’ve been working on the post for much longer if we weren’t open to suggestions and to hearing what other people think about the past readings. In my group we all talked about ways we can connect each other’s ideas into one blog post and still be able to connect it to some poems or even our class visit to the Geneseo Heating Plant. After attending Prince’s Lectures and exhibits and having open discussions in our classes, I have come to realize how valuable open discussions are.

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