5. What should the role of visiting artists be?

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    What should the role of visiting artists be, especially at the graduate level? At the moment, there seem to be almost no requirements or standards for visiting artists even though they play a crucial role in most graduate programs. The absence of guidelines too often produce an unfortunate squandering of resources on people who have very little interest in teaching and instead use the university and its facilities for their own creative purposes. Should standards be imposed for visiting artists and if so, what should they be? How should visiting artists be selected? #JCartists

    Beth Clayton

    To be present for students to observe the act of making art. So they may see the process from concept to realization.


    To inspire future artists and to teach them skills through demonstration, and once again to not take advantage of the school’s resources.


    To serve as an inspiration and mentor students. To give them insight into the real world issues of being a professional artist and to help bridge the gap between academia and the art world. This can be achieved through class visits, group discussions, open studio hours and lectures. Secondly to support art making that may not have a commercial audience and is not financially self sustaining. Higher education institutions are the perfect place to let this important work develop.

    Judy Chicago

    I wonder if I’m the only person who has witnessed visiting artists who are not really interested in interacting with students. Has anyone else had this experience?


    Visiting artists provide an outside perspective for the audience. During my years of undergrad study I became familiar with many of the faculty in the art department. Though they were skilled artists and teachers who held high standards and treated students with much respect, it was refreshing to have visiting artists or speakers come to campus and share their experiences. I think this is important for students and faculty alike to act as a reminder that there are other places, people, and issues outside the small campus/town bubble that you live in during those college years.


    I think that it is important for students to interact with visiting artists and that their role coming to a campus be to inspire and inform students. How they do this should be left open ended for the artist to interpret. While most students have faculty that are already active in their field, it is good for students to see another successful artist outside of the university. Allowing students to engage with visiting artists and share ideas is a crucial part of them preparing for being an artist in the real world.

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