I am interested in education that opens people’s hearts and minds to a broader understanding of the world, to different cultures, social patterns, histories etc. I am interested in education that prepares people to assertively ask their own questions, rather than answer other people’s. I want an education that acknowledges the greater complexities of our world, exciting people to embrace rather than fear the complexity. For this, I think we need an education that actively engages with the real world, that connects us with different people across traditional boundaries. And art is such a great resource and vehicle for this kind of education. – Ernesto Pujol
Museum X Artist X Community:
The reading really helped me understand, from the perspectives of the artist Ernesto Pujol and David Henry, head of Education at the Museum of Rhode Island School of Design, the challenges of making collaborative art that involves artists, museums and the community. And when I say community, it is important to understand that this word can mean a number of things and that we all belong to a number of communities.
To think about collaborative art as a way to reinsert citizenship into art making. Collaborations bring back art into society as cultural expression rather than a personal gesture. Collaborations are hard. They require giving up control and having a sense of commitment and mission.
Education X Curation
It was also interesting to think about community-based contemporary art through the lenses of the museums. Most museums are used to being engaged through their education departments, but not through their education departments. The museum’s staff also see’s the community, at many times, as “potential new members” instead of a population with potential. And curators have their egos attached to the exhibits as much as the artists have their egos attached to their artwork. In many cases, curators focus on traditional art as they are used to deal with dead artists. Now when you bring a community that is alive inside the museum, people that are walking around and have opinions and that is participating in the inner-life of the institution, that may cause some discomfort.