New Art Course Offered To Explore Non-Western Art and Culture

Launching next term, the new art elective, Art 465: “Cultural Perspectives, Global Connections,” hopes to use art as a segue into the culture and history of China, India and South Africa. According to Elaine Crivelli, Instructor in Art and the future instructor of Art 465, the new course will focus on the modern and contemporary art of the three countries. Students in the class will explore the three cultures through various artistic media including visual art and film. “This course will travel back and forth in time while viewing a selection of artists and filmmakers from each country whose works are inspired by historic roots and cultural traditions or whose works address political unrest, human rights or cultural change,” wrote Crivelli in an email to The Phillipian. Crivelli said that the course focuses specifically on India, China and South Africa because of the significant cultural and economic changes that have recently occurred in these countries. “I was thinking specifically about the economic developments in China moving more towards capitalism and how this has impacted the contemporary art and cultural developments coming out of there. In [South Africa,] we will most likely look at apartheid and other cultural changes and conflicts that occurred and how the work of artists… reflected and addressed these issues. [For] India, we will look at developments in modern and contemporary art,” said Crivelli. “The contemporary art that is currently produced [in India, China and South Africa] reflects these [cultural] developments through bold, provocative, courageous and poetic art forms in various media,” said Crivelli. The opportunity to teach the course is a learning experience for Crivelli as well as her students. She hopes that the course will fill the current gap in the study of non-Western art and culture in the Department of Art. “The preparation for a new course is often exciting and mentally stimulating, especially when I can learn so much about art that I knew little about prior to researching material for this course,” said Crivelli.