Making Sense of Contemporary Art at the ICA at VCU - March 28, 2023

  • Tue, Mar 28, 2023 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University

    601 West Broad Street
    Richmond, Virginia 23220
Ticket Price $0.00-$25.00 Register Now
Description

Learning Opportunity: Making Sense of Contemporary Art
with Dr. Dominic A. Willsdon, Executive Director, ICA at VCU

Join us for a series of classes at the ICA at VCU where we will explore together how to see and understand contemporary art. 

Contemporary art can be difficult to see. An all white canvas or an everyday object on a pedestal may seem mysterious. How do we look at it? What can we think about it? In fact, our looking and thinking is a part of the art. And when we learn to look, ask questions, and make connections, contemporary art comes alive. In this way, contemporary art can be the most understandable era in the history of art, because it has to do with you and I seeing the work — right here, right now — and connecting it to the world we share. In this series of classes, we will learn how to see and understand contemporary art. 

  • We’ll investigate what an art object is, and ask, can art be anything? 
  • We’ll explore the intertwining of art and politics – where it came from and why it matters.
  • We’ll understand geographic context, and unpack how your location leads you to see and make art differently.

Making sense of contemporary art is not so much about looking at art, but looking at the world through art. In this course, we’ll learn to see our world differently. And maybe uncover a new part of ourselves along the way.

Please join us for one, two or all three. Each class is designed to make sense by itself.

February 28, 2023, 6 to 7:30 pm - Can art be anything?

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A work of art used to be a specific kind of thing: a painting, a drawing, a sculpture. But for a long time now, since the 1960s or earlier, anything at all can be seen as a work of art: found objects, gestures, fragments of language, ideas, events, and literally anything else. How and why did this happen? How can we say which artworks are good anymore? The whole world of contemporary art revolves around these questions.

March 28, 2023, 6 to 7:30 pm - How did art get mixed up in politics?

For centuries, art has taken sides in the political struggles of its day. Art history has been the story of artists who sought to be the vanguard not just of artistic change, but of social and political change too. That is what we mean when we talk about art being avant-garde. How and why is politics so present in the art of our time? What stories and perspectives get left out? 

April 25, 2023, 6 to 7:30 pm - Where in the world?

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Contemporary art – like contemporary life – has become global like never before, for better and for worse. In many ways, we understand contemporary art in terms of geography more than of history, as we previously did. How do the worldwide horizons of art now affect how it is made and how we see it? And what becomes of the local? What were the major art events worldwide in 2022, and what do they mean for us?

Registration Fee: $10 per participant, per class or $25 for all three classes. Educators, students and artists may participate at no charge.

Date & Time

Tue, Mar 28, 2023 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Venue Details

Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University

601 West Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23220 Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University
ICA at VCU

The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University presents the art of our time and provides an open forum for dialogue and collaboration across the region and throughout the world.

Opened on April 21, 2018, the ICA is a non-collecting institution that showcases an ever-changing slate of exhibitions, performances, films, and special programs that translate our world into every medium.

Admission is free and open to all.


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