The relationship between the arts and the crafts is... complicated. Since the mid 19th Century, artists, theorists, industrialists, and reformers have tried to define the terms of their bond, albeit unsuccessfully. While some defend their necessary entanglement and permanent cross-pollination, others work hard to defend their fundamental incompatibility. In this honors seminar students study the nuances of this messy yet fertile affair involving avant-garde art and artisan productions from the 1850s until today. They hypothesize on the foundations of their attraction and thread through the different historical narratives that have argued for or against their marriage. This course considers the status of artisanship with regards to art making in the Arts & Crafts movement, 20th century modernism, the Black arts movement, feminist art, decolonial aesthetics, and new materialism studies. So as to better understand this complicated liaison, students will craft two fabric objects and reflect on their experience as artisans, or artists, in the making.
- Teacher: Paloma Checa-Gismero