My name is Catt Melendez, I’m a graduate student of CCNY’s Art Education program. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to be one of the 2014-2015 Connor Fellowship recipients, and design a project to help develop CCNY’s Art Education program and support its community.
For my project, I’m going to create an online gallery that explores the Masters of Art Education program at CCNY through a series of online art exhibitions. By drawing from the articles we read, and the stories and discussions we share, I’m going to organize exhibitions that explore the themes, questions, and goals that amass, and how these amassments connect to the core values of Art Education at CCNY, and to our future teaching careers
My plan is to do draw on the rich community of artists available within this program, and in New York City. Through the syntheses their artwork, I want to create a visual representation of what we experience and learn as students and teachers of art. The same way we navigate curriculum and ideas, and find ways to connect it to ourselves and our prospective goals in education, it’s my hope that these online exhibitions could serve as a way to teach these themes, through visual and artistic means, to a broader community.
For this project, the online gallery would consist of a series of exhibitions that include images and/or videos of the artwork, and the exhibiting artists’ biographies and artists’ statements. This curatorial exploration of CCNY’s Art Education program could help us consider how we can speak and teach through the visual arts. It would also be a way to promote the work we do in our program to a wider audience.
I believe that curatorial work is very closely related to creating and carrying out an art lesson plan. It’s much more than showcasing artwork; it’s creating an aesthetic experience in which you lead the viewer through a series of work that synthesize together to convey a message. Like a successful art lesson, the message cannot be conveyed through extortion or coercion. Rather you have to allow the viewer to navigate the space (be it physical or digital), make personal connections to the work, and then make broader connections between themselves, the artwork, and the greater good. Art exhibitions can server as a gateway to new knowledge. Artwork can stimulate our senses and spark curiosity of concepts or histories less familiar.
I hope you find my project fruitful. If you are interested in having your work exhibited, please contact me!