Making and Materiality: Studio Arts in a Liberal Arts Education

September 15, 2017 (Friday) / 2:00 pmSeptember 16, 2017 (Saturday) / 7:00 pm

Friday: 402 Cohen Hall / Saturday: 345 Penn Museum

Making and Materiality: Studio Arts in a Liberal Arts Education

A Visual Studies Workshop

Presented by Penn's Visual Studies Program.

Friday, September 15 / 2:00–5:30pm / 402 Cohen Hall

Thinking in Comics: New Forms of Learning and Scholarship
Nick Sousanis (San Francisco State University)

Though long reserved for only the decorative and illustrational, the visual is an essential avenue for thinking and facilitating new ways of making meaning. We’ll begin our discussion by looking at Unflattening, originally my dissertation written and drawn entirely in comics, which challenges the traditional forms of learning found in academic settings. Then we’ll turn to my work with students, who primarily describe themselves as non-drawers, and how having them draw from day one transforms their understanding of their own thinking. Finally, we’ll put the pedagogical possibilities into practice through hands-on comics-making activities to get everyone thinking in comics and see how much we already know about working visually.

Studio Thinking: Habits of Mind Taught in the Art Studio Classroom
Ellen Winner, Boston College

The arts have taken a back seat role at all levels of our educational system. At the K-12 level, advocates for arts have argued that the arts improve test scores and grades. But this claim does not hold up. Justifications for studying the arts need to be based on what the arts actually teach. I will present evidence for broad habits of mind taught in arts classrooms, and argue that these habits (which will serve students well in all areas of the curriculum) are taught more deeply in the arts than in academic areas. The studio classroom can thus serve as a model for school reform.

Saturday, September 16 / 9:00am–5:30pm / 345 Penn Museum

9:30 / Michael Leja (Penn, History of Art)
Exactness of Eye, Flexibility of Hand, and Endurance of Memory: Educating Citizens through Drawing in the 19th Century

10:10 / David Leatherbarrow (Penn, Architecture)
Drawing to Find Out

11:05 / VLST alums

12:05 / Anne Tiballi, Ellen Owens (Penn, Penn Museum)
Object-Based Learning in the Museum

12:30 / Lunch, Museum Visits, Making Demo

2:00 / Michelle Lopez (Penn, Fine Arts)

2:40 / Anjan Chatterjee (Penn, Medicine)
Brain Damage and the Paradoxical Facilitation of Art Making

3:35 / Thomas Leddy (San Jose State University)
Dewey: The Liberal Arts and the Visual Arts 

4:20 / Panel
Mark Campbell (Dean, College of Art, Media & Design, Univ. of the Arts, Phila)
John Carvalho (Villanova, Philosophy)
David Comberg (Penn, Fine Arts)
Matt Freedman (Penn, Visual Studies)
Michelle Lopez (Penn, Fine Arts)
VLST alums