Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Black Studies in Art and Design Education Conference 2011

I had the pleasure of attending the first international conference on Blacks Studies in Art and Design Education this past weekend.  The conference took place at Parsons The New School of Art and Design in New York City.  This two day event was organized by interdisciplinary artist and author  Coco Fusco and designer and scholar Yvonne Watson both staff members at Parsons.   

The conference was made up of several panel discussion, which each discussion in themselves could have lasted the whole duration of the conference.  

Hot topics I was especially interested in was curricular reform and the black student experience in and out of the classroom.

Keynote speakers: (Day one) Dr. Leslie King-Hammond and (Day two) Dr. Noel Mayo.
Panelist  included to name a few Michele Washington, Craig l. Wilkins, Susan Cahan and Stephen Burks.

Attending this conference was a valuable experience for me. I left feeling more motivated to continue my studies, show my work and to teach.  One of my passions and goals is to teach young children to think creatively and become problem solvers, through art workshops. 

Food for thought:

How can I use my craft and creativity to address the world’s problems?  I know that heavy!
I feel this is my responsibility to use my life to make a contribution for positive change.
I am an artist and maker.   How can I use these skills in art, craft and food to create a better life for myself and others. 
I would love to be apart of creating a scholarship fund to help people of color go to art school.

Leslie king–Hammond  mention the book The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind in her speech. And she shared several wise saying and proverbs including this one:
“Take what you have and make what you want “ Gullah proverb.  Noel Mayo gave reference to Banker To The Poor  by Muhammad Yunus.

The conference raised some huge issues and points that could not be answered in just the two days. Overall, I think the myth of becoming a starving artist is not  a myth at all but a reality. We have to create strong networks so that we can be aware of job, exhibition and educational opportunities.  I feel art and design education has to be pared with business and entrepreneurship training as well.    When I graduated from art school I had no idea what I was going to do.  I remembered my ceramics teacher in high school telling me strait up  "the only way you can make money with this is to teach."  

I would love to hear thoughts and comments on this topic from The Etsy Artist of Color Community (members, supporters and readers)!   

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Unknown said...

It sounds live a very interesting conference. I defintitelty agree with the points you made about the importance of networking and funding.

You also said: "How can I use my craft and creativity to address the world’s problems?"

This is something that I am constantly thinking about as well, as I would like my creative work in some way to be able to make a positive difference to the world's problems, and not be just about "making stuff". Which is why I believe that artists and craftspeople should not shy away from building strong, viable and influential businesses with their respective skills.

Robert Trujillo/Tres said...

Definitely food for thought. I went to Parsons and more diversity is definitely an issue professor Jesse Villalobos was trying to tackle there. I would have definitely been at this conference! Will keep my eye out for the next one..

shevon said...

Thanks both of you for your comments. I believe that EAOC can play apart in inspiring and helping people of color to make difference.

Lisa Abdul-Quddus said...

There are members of EAOC all over the world now. In regards to creating a strong network we can start small by meeting up with other members in our areas. Start local and who knows how large it can grow. And with that growth other benefits can come from it.

Unknown said...

I agree with Lisa so many of us in so many different places and meeting up in small groups would a great idea...


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