Dialogue Portal

Penn State Inaugurates the Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal

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September 15, 2014 (University Park, PA) – Artist, author, educator, and activist Judy Chicago has one more milestone to add to her celebratory year as she turned 75 this year. Penn State, which acquired her art education archives in 2011, is pleased to announce the creation of the Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal as a new facet of the artist’s online art education archive in The Eberly Family Special Collections Library and used across disciplines. In fact, the archive is so widely used that it has never been in storage and the original archive boxes have had to be replaced.

The Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal was born from Penn State’s 2014 campus-wide, semester-long celebration of Chicago’s archive that concluded with a weekend-long symposium at which Chicago delivered a timely, call-to-action lecture based on her new book “Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education.”

“My goal was to spark a long-overdue dialogue about the state of studio art education,” says Chicago who developed the first feminist art program at California State University, Fresno in the 1970s, and has taught at Cal-Arts, Indiana University, Bloomington; Duke; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green; and Vanderbilt. With the creation of the portal, we can now initiate an international online conversation about the current state of studio art education, particularly in relation to issues of content, gender, and diversity. I believe that art education has to be radically improved in order to meet the needs of all students and that Penn State can be a leader in effectuating this change.”

The Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal was launched on September 15, 2014 beginning with the first of four sections and fully launched with all four sections in 2015.

An Invitation from Judy Chicago

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The first will be “An Invitation from Judy Chicago,” which features the video of Chicago’s Penn State lecture, discussion questions formulated by the artist, a video compilation of her teaching, and a multimedia presentation by Dr. Karen Keifer-Boyd analyzing Chicago’s pedagogy. Subsequently academics, art professionals, and artists will have the opportunity to engage in a live dialogue with Chicago about the state of studio art education and its future, which will be hosted on the portal on October 25 at 11:00 AM EST. Those participating will be asked to read “Institutional Time,” now available as both a hardcover and an e-book and to view Keifer-Boyd’s presentation in preparation for the conversation.

Difference in Studio Art Teaching: Applying Judy Chicago’s Pedagogical Principles 

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The second section of the portal, “Difference in Studio Art Teaching: Applying Judy Chicago’s Pedagogical Principles,” initiated by Keifer-Boyd, will roll out in December and highlight projects utilizing Judy Chicago’s Art Education Archives and the application of her teaching pedagogy as implemented by Keifer-Boyd and Nancy Youdelman in their spring 2014 project course which culminated in a provocative exhibition created by the participants. Other symposium talks will be included along with interview footage by Chicago of Keifer-Boyd and Youdelman who was a student in Chicago’s ground-breaking feminist art program. There will also be suggested readings and additional discussion questions about the challenges and opportunities of applying Chicago’s teaching methods.

What About Men?

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Part three of the portal, which will be launched in 2015, is titled “What About Men?” It will address the often contentious subject of men in a feminist environment and take up some of the challenges of making institutional changes in terms of curriculum. It will feature edited versions of the symposium talks by photographer Donald Woodman and Andrew Perchuk, deputy director of the Getty Research Institute.

Transforming Curriculum

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The final section of the portal will be “Transforming Curriculum,” which will showcase sculptor Bill Catling’s talk about how to achieve a radical transformation in arts education in both policy and curriculum. For the last ten years, Catling has been the chair of the art department at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California where he has worked to change studio art curriculum so that it meets the needs of all students. Parts three and four will be amplified by Chicago’s interviews with Perchuk and Catling along with pertinent discussion questions.

“Penn State’s robust Art Education Program has produced significant milestones in education through art for more than 60 years, as so vividly demonstrated through our University Libraries archives. Viktor Lowenfeld’s revolutionary thoughts regarding the place of art in a child’s education in the 1940s, Alice Schwartz’s experimentation with the new medium of television to deliver learning in the 50s and 60s, and the Anderson and Ellis Art Education Collection are just a few examples among our rich resources,” notes Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications. “The addition of Judy Chicago’s Dialogue Portal will add important dimensions to our collection and to the conversation at a time when Penn State is joining other universities in a national dialogue re-examining gender issues in our academies and elsewhere.”

Penn State is noted for being at the forefront of art education. Similar to The Dinner Party Curriculum Project, which is also a part of Chicago’s Penn State archive and widely used, the Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal will be a vital, world-wide forum for art educators and artists to participate in discourse about the future of art education at all levels. Through the Flower, the non-profit art organization founded by Chicago, will partner with Penn State to promote the Dialogue Portal which will be highlighted on Through the Flower’s website.

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About the Penn State Libraries:

The University Libraries, including 23 campus locations, plus the World Campus, are Penn State’s premiere resource and are ranked among the top-ten university research libraries in North America by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). With more than 6.9 million volumes, among other resources, it is the largest research library in Pennsylvania and is one of the four state resource libraries that provide service and collections to all other libraries and citizens of the Commonwealth. Penn State’s Libraries are the only academic research library of the four, and the other three are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the State Library of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Free Library.

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