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Art history club begins again

By Anne Owens

Tuesday September 18, 2001

Headline Photo
Illustration by Josh Hagler

Club meets tomorrow for the first time in 10 years

For the first time in 10 years, the university will sponsor an art history club.

The student-organized and -operated club was started by art and art history majors, but is open to all students. The club will give students the opportunity to go backstage in museums, see what they have in storage and meet the curators.

This week the club will meet to talk about fundraising, as well as the history of art. The club plans to take a trip to the Geddy Museum in Los Angeles later this year. They also intend to visit museums in Phoenix, as well as local museums.

The club restarted due to student interest, and will offer a forum for those students interested in seeing and learning to understand art outside of the classroom.

The ultimate goal, however, according to the club's overseer - assistant art history professor Therese Martin - is simply enjoyment.

"With something like this that you're doing on your own time, it should be fun - a little bit educational, maybe, but mostly fun," she said.

It will also give students majoring in art history the opportunity to see what they could eventually do with their degree, and maybe rally a few converts.

"Besides the whole art world," Martin said, "there is so much that you can do with an overall knowledge of the visual world. Education is more than the memorization of facts and figures. Education is about learning to think and develop."

Media arts freshman Tyler Kepple is considering joining the club.

"(An art history club) might offer me a chance to look at the art and art history that's not covered in classes," he said. "Then you can explore in your own direction, not just cover the information for homework."

The club will pursue its interests in art history by attending lectures - as they learn from the mouths of guest speakers - and museums. All of this, the club and Martin hope, will present art as something alive.

"I like to be able to tie history to something other than this war and that battle," Martin said. "I actually started as a communications major as an undergrad, then I went to Spain my junior year and was able to see medieval art that was still alive."

The club will allow students to go behind the scenes in the functional world of art, and to hear from the people behind the curtain.

"What I like is seeing art that is not part of a museum, but as part of life, the everyday world that people live in and have been living in," Martin said.

Martin said she believes the duality of art and history is something that can't be separated.

"You can't figure out a piece of art unless you know its history - somebody's always got a goal," Martin said "If you don't think about that, you can't understand what it was about. Today people say, 'Oh, Leonardo, he was a master,' but when it was painted it was all about how much gold or lapis was used - it was all about the cost of it."

The club meets every other Wednesday at 5 p.m. in room 245 of the Art building. For converts, pilgrims and students who just want to talk about art history still on the fence about joining the club, there will be pizza and beverages.


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