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"The Art of Liberation"

Course and visiting artist series – Spring 2011 (ART, BAMS, Paul R. Jones Initiative)

The Departments of Art and Black American Studies offered a Spring 2011 cross-listed course called “The Art of Liberation,” which included mostly art students and a diverse group of students from departments throughout the university. The guests engaged students in dialogue about how arts and humanities practitioners can mobilize communities and effect positive change. From a humanities point of view, the guests addressed the social conditions surrounding their work and put it in historical context compared to other kinds of liberation activities. The visiting artists were Emory Douglas, Artist and former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party and Favianna Rodriguez, both Bay Area activist artists. The Paul R. Jones lecture, by sculptor Melvin Edwards and his wife, performance artist and poet Jayne Cortez, became part of the Art of Liberation lecture series at the suggestion of Julie McGee, Curator of African American Art for University Museums. An exhibition celebrating the 10-year announcement of the Paul R. Jones gift of African American art to UD included works that speak directly to the “Art of Liberation” theme, addressing the interrelationship of visual arts and personal, political and social advocacy. Students from Christiana High School and Latin American Studies at UD attended a class session with Favianna Rodriguez. Emory Douglas lectured in a BAMS class. The visiting artists interacted with students in more informal situations—Favianna Rodriguez did a print demonstration and Emory Douglas attended a gallery opening for the “Art of Liberation” exhibition in Recitation Hall, which featured his recent posters.

Colette Gaiter is a multimedia artist and writer. She has worked with computers since 1982 and in interactive multimedia since 1990. Her work has been shown at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and in numerous galleries, museums and public institutions. Gaiter has exhibited multimedia works internationally in SIGGRAPH and ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Art) exhibitions. Her current work reconfigures photographs from trips to Cuba researching contemporary graphic design. She has received many grants and awards—most recently a Delaware Division of the Arts Established Artist award. After working as a graphic designer in Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, and New York City, Gaiter began teaching at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1986. Since then she has taught at Columbia College in Chicago in Interactive Arts and Media, and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. er writing on the Black Panther artist Emory Douglas appears in several publications, including the 2007 Rizzoli monograph Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas. Another essay on Douglas’s work is in the The Countercultural Object/West of Center, from the University of Minnesota Press. She is currently working on a video about his work.

Reference

The Departments of Art and Black American Studies offered a Spring 2011 cross-listed course called “The Art of Liberation,” which included mostly art students and a diverse group of students from departments throughout the university. Emory Douglas lectured in a BAMS class. The visiting artists interacted with students in more informal situations—Favianna Rodriguez did a print demonstration and Emory Douglas attended a gallery opening for the “Art of Liberation” exhibition in Recitation Hall, which featured his recent posters.


Video

ART 367-013: Seminar- The Art of Liberation Lecture from April 7, 2011: Watch on UD Capture