Thursday, February 26, 2009

Art School Panel on Youtube

A few months ago I posted a video about a group show on art education at InterAccess. More recently, InterAccess has made a couple of videos from a related panel session available online. The panel, which I attended, was quite disparate in nature, with each panellist presenting their own personal perspective on art academia. To me, this worked, actually. If it does for you too, you might want to check out this vid from University of Manitoba prof Sharon Alward—who encountered crazy amounts of sexism and harrassment as a prof for many years, unfortunately not all detailed in this video—and this one from OCAD prof Rosemary Donegan, who speaks to the differences between art colleges and university art departments.

As a sidenote, Marc Mayer, new director of the National Gallery of Canada, told me today that one of the things he worries about is not enough young men being interested in art anymore, and that the study of art is in a way becoming too much of a feminine domain. All due respect to Mayer, the real intrigue remains for me as to why art history classes are dominated by women but art museum directorships (and other key leadership positions) continue to be dominated by men. Gender subjectivity redux!


Gabby said...

Here here, Leah. I had an ongoing debate with a mature student in my curatorial studies class last year (which was all women) about why she thought we "young people" should be concerned that we were "losing men's voices" in the discipline since so few men were in our art history program (there are currently 3 out of 20). I tried to point out that every time you enter a gallery you see a half dozen men women staffing the gallery, running the front desk, programming educational activities, but that 90% of directors and curators are men. She didn't really ever come round on it, but I don't buy the "not enough men are interested in art history anymore" argument.

As Carol Zemel says at York, if the men are genuinely concerned about their lack of presence in the field, they should start a movement. That's what we did.

Leah Sandals said...

That's an awesome comment Gabby. I'm with you on this one for sure.

L.M. said...

That's quite the inane quote from the Director of our National Gallery. (Perhaps proving once again that in Canadian institutional circles one can only fail upwards.)

Leah Sandals said...

Hey LM,

Yeah, it's weird, I think Marc's generally really with it, but then this happens.

Still it made me think about the issue, which has been taken up not only by him but by many of both genders.

All this really means to me is that
(a) women are getting a raw deal
(b) men are getting a different kind of raw deal -- albeit one that is not expressed in lower incomes or gender violence rates.

So if this is the case, what are we to do about it? I must admit income and violence victimization are two stats of prime interest to me, more so than that of student ratios.