During week one I met Juventino while waiting for our first chance to check out the art galleries on campus. Juventino is a second year student studying mechanical engineering and admitted that this class was his first real exposure to the arts, at least from an educational perspective.
At first Juventino and I just walked around the galleries essentially waiting for something to strike us. We both got stopped by April Bey’s collection of pieces, “Who Do You Worship?” (Keep Calm and …) for its obvious pop culture references, and counterculture attitude and I think that reasonated with Juventino as much as it did with me. The main piece we talked about however, was “Taking Off” by Matthew Usinowicz. I go into more detail in my “artist interview/overview” blog post, but essentially Juventino and I both agreed that, to us, the piece reflected both America’s rise in prominence post-industrialization, but also the rising ego of Americans with respect to the rest of the world. However accurate the perception, the fact that it got Juventino and I to stop and discuss our interpretations and to kind of “talk it out” with each other made me appreciate the piece more.
To close, Juventino and I agreed that, with limited artistic background, it can be daunting and even a little intimidating to walk around and view art and not feel like you’re that person in the room who measures art by weather it’s “pretty” or not. We did note that without the artist there, it definitely is all up to the audience to make their own interpretation, so there really isn’t a wrong answer or wrong interpretation. Finally, we agreed that it would be really beneficial for our own personal limited artistic exposure to eventually get a chance to chat with an artist week 3 and beyond and actually get to compare our own initial reaction to a piece with the artist’s actual inspiration or message behind the piece. Looking forward to the next convo!