Print This Issue

COUNCIL: State of the University

October 26, 2010, Volume 57, No. 09

Claudia Gould

The Provost’s office helps fund ICA’s portion of this year-long seminar. While ICA does numerous collaborations within the University, as does Kelly Writers House, this seminar came out of our success in working with the department of art history on our collaborative class, Contemporary Art and The Art of Curating, which we began 10 years ago. This year-long seminar culminates with a show that the undergraduate students curate in our project space.  We were so energized by that collaboration, we approached Rebecca Bushnell to ask her, “what else can we do with SAS?” Kelly Writers House was a natural for us —so when we went to Al he told us about CPCW and from there the class was developed, Writing Through Culture and Art.

How ICA intersects is that our Whitney Lauder Curatorial Fellow is our representative in the class, the seminar is focused on an exhibition or several exhibitions that are currently up at ICA during that year. The students then “write” in very unpredictable and creative ways—guided by their professor about these shows. The ICA with Kelly Writers House and CPCW publish the students’ writings at the end of the year in a publication that is put together by the ICA’s publications department. While this is student writing, two of the publications are now part of artists’ bibliographies. Essentially, this may be the students’ first published works. It was quite an ambitious endeavor for all of us. Al will tell you about how the class is structured, which is very special.

In terms of the students, they didn’t even know there was an art world; the same was true with the art history seminar students. All of a sudden they are introduced to something—to a museum, working in a museum—and we as staff members, curators, help the students if they choose to enter the art world, with references for positions. So it is really not only introducing them to a world that they didn’t know they could work in, but actually helping them get their first positions. Some are at the Whitney, some are at the Museum of Modern Art, many of them are working in the commercial gallery system or wanting to be curators or art critics. Some are pursuing their masters and PhDs. It really is a beginning for them and something that they would have never had the opportunity to do. Kenny Goldsmith is now teaching the art history seminar and he is really the glue, besides Al and I, that makes this a success, and of course the amazing students at Penn.



Almanac - October 26, 2010, Volume 57, No. 09