Judy Chicago: "Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education"

Good evening. As many of you know one of my goals in creating the dinner party a symbolic history of women in western civilization now currently housed at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum was to overcome the erasures that has repeatedly eclipsed women’s achievements. Contemporary illustration of this erasure is the story recently told by the writer Sue Monk Kidd of visiting The Dinner Party and discovering the Grimke sisters of South Carolina which is where Kidd is from Although they were legends during their lifetimes as the first abolitionist to publicly speak and write about female equality, she had never heard of them. As she writes in the authors note at the end of the Invention of Wings, her best-selling novel about the Grimkes, how could I not have heard them? My ignorance felt like both a personal failing and a confirmation of Chicago’s view that women’s achievements have been repeatedly erased throughout history. The reason I site this issue of erasure is that it helps to explain why in 1999 after a twenty five-year absence I returned to teaching. By then I had been receiving letters from female students at numerous universities and art institutions all over the world. They reported that they were learning almost nothing about women’s history or women’s art In fact, many of their art professors both male and female were hostile to female centered work or unable to adequately critique it. As a result they felt unsupported or entirely stranded in terms of their artistic growth Moreover most of them were unaware of the Feminist Art Movement in the 1970’s, which is now noted for having dramatically affected art practice Between 1999 and 2005, I took a series of semester long appointments at a variety universities around the country first by myself and then in tandem with my husband photographer Donald Woodman who is standing right there Actually the first year, the first two years…the first year when I taught and IU Bloomington, we have a bevy of cats and I took the cats. I had the cats and then the second year when I was at Duke, Donald kept the cats. So that was not exactly great for us. So then we decided we had better team teach so we could both have the cats. Anyways, as I said at IU Bloomington, Duke and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill I was alone. Then Donald and I team taught at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, in a public-private partnership with Cal Poly Pamona in California and finally thanks to Constance Gee at Vanderbilt In addition to hoping that I might be able to offer something valuable to students, my decades long experiences as a practicing artist and the pedagogical methods that I had begun developing in the 1970’s, I thought that my pedagogy might also prove empowering and again perhaps not only to women. I was also interested in discovering what had happened to university studio art education during my long absence and to record what I learned in Institutional Time, a book that took me 10 years to write In the first chapter of the book, I review my early feminist art programs in Fresno and then at Cal Arts where working with our students the artist, Miriam Schapiro and I created Womanhouse As these programs have been widely discussed I don’t want to spend a lot of time on them except to say that when I brought my Fresno program to Cal Arts along with a number of my students including, Nancy Youdelman who’s been here on campus, I did not understand how markedly different it was from the emphasis of the rest of the art department In fact, this period at Cal Arts marked the beginning of a significant change in university studio art education as can be surmised from a quote from Paul Brock’s 2007 obituary in the LA Times. Paul who was Mimi’s husband, was the Dean of the Art School at Cal Arts and he was the one who brought the Feminist Art Program into the school Providing us with our own studio space, a materials budget and the first position for a feminist art historian not to mention the first time that any university

art program provided an educational opportunity specifically for women. Even though Paul supported the program, apparently his own views where that “art school is less about teaching how to make art than about learning what it means to be an artist.” Well, you could have fooled me My idea of studio art education was to help students to find their own voice by discovering their personal content then expressing that through appropriate media, which was the emphasis of the feminist art program The important distinction here is that I stress the importance of content along with developing the skills to express it clearly and effectively. But, I left academia soon thereafter in order to concentrate on studio work so I really didn’t understand the significance of the shift introduced by Paul until I returned to teaching One of my first encounters with the consequences of this change was reading Howard Singerman’s book Art Subjects. By the way there is very little literature on university studio art education shockingly little. Art Subjects was one of the few books there is. It includes the quote with which I actually introduce my book. Although I hold a Master of Fine Arts, degree in sculpture I do not have the traditional skills of the sculpture. I cannot carve, or cast, or weld, or model in clay Why not? I will now briefly discuss my various teaching stints and then share, oh actually I need the next one Donald, this is Womanhouse And then share some of my conclusions that parallel something that Steven Henry Madoff pointed out in a recent book, one of the few on studio art education is called Art School: Propositions for the 21st Century. And in that book he wrote, “current and new students are paying fortunes for inadequate art educations and getting into bank loan debt, which is a huge disservice to them.” The subject to which I will return. When I went back to teaching I was particularly interested in addressing the gap between art school and art practice. Many art students find this transition difficult, but it seems to be especially challenging for women since many of them have little or no idea how to generate the money, space or time necessary to set up a life as a professional artist Consequently, at most of the universities where I and then Donald and I taught, I instituted a project class that would allow students to experience the different stages of professional art practice From identifying subject matter and formulating images to mounting an exhibition My hope was that by traversing the gamut of difficulties between creation and exhibition, the participants might become better prepared for the rigors of professional life At IU Bloomington I had hoped that some men would sign up for the class as I was eager to discover if my pedagogy would be useful to them a subject to which I will also return But that didn’t happen until I taught a graduate seminar at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The images you see are just a few from the wildly successful exhibition that was the result of the IU project class, which was held at the I.M. Pei Design University Art Museum The title was based, Sinsation, was based on the Brooklyn Museum Sensation Show, which was up at that same time. The participants work was wide-ranging and included this hilarious parody by Peg Brand of the De Kooning Woman painting in which people could insert their heads and be photographed There by replacing his vicious objectified form with a laughing, grinning image of female agency. By the way Peg, who like Constance was married to the head, Constance when I met her was married to the Chancellor of Vanderbilt, Peg was married to the Head of the IU school system. And Peg, like Constance, had started out in the art department. Also like Constance, she had ended feeling, in her case she ended up in Philosophy of Art, Constance ended up in Art Education. In both cases they felt

completely unsupported in their graduate programs as artists Anyway as part of the exhibition, there were a series of performances some based on Womanhouse skits and others written by the students. The more recent pieces were extremely illuminating in terms of the issues being faced by young women there. When I was at IU in the 1990’s, post feminism was all the rage Especially in the art world, which was louldy proclaiming that feminist art was passe Assuming a world where the gains of feminism were unequivocal and its goals roundly met But my student’s performances told a very different story. One that expressed their confusion about the fact that they were being encouraged to believe that they could do and be what they wished However their life experiences were contradicting this rosy view. I, myself, always thought that this idea of post feminism was ridiculous especially given the conditions of many women in the world. As the editors of Bitch magazine once suggested, we will live in a post feminist world when we achieve a state of post patriarchy. A goal that is nowhere near being achieved at least not in large parts of the world Try telling the women in Afghanistan that we live in a post feminist world Anyway, until that time, a wish I think we will eventually come but not in our lifetime, I believe will be a lot better for young women if they weren’t fed such a big lie, which is the title of the chapter that deals with IU. Could I have the next? Some of the consequences of this fiction about how everything is changed now were brought home to me at of all places, Duke, which is a stellar university at least of the male students When I was there the school was led by Nan Keohane an avowed feminist Late in her tenure, she undertook an initiative aimed at examining the situation of women on campus Of course if she had asked me I could have give her an earful As I describe in Chapter 4 in Institutional Time, my Duke class was structured to lead students through 3 of the subjects that I had explored; women’s history, birth and the holocaust. At that time Duke’s art department was small and could not provide a studio space Moreover, most of my students were not majoring in art so I assumed that they would mostly do text based projects As it turned out, most of them wanted to create visual works Which meant that I had to stand on a desk in the classroom in order to look at their pieces. That was a really great way to do crits. Anyway, early on I encountered the fact that the female students, my female students, and they were in the majority, were so preoccupied with what was happening to them on campus that they seemed unable to concentrate on the subject matter of the course During our group discussions, they complained about being viewed as objects the male students, being judged by their looks rather than their intellectual abilities and being dismissed when they tried to express their ideas in class. Some of the students mentioned that when they first arrived at the school, their pictures were placed in little black books that were circulated among the male students who competed for the triumph of being the first one to get them Consequently, they dampened themselves down as one student put it. Having these discussions with my Duke students, which I could not believe, caused me to experience an intense sense of deja vu. It was almost like being back in the early 1970’s with the Fresno girls That’s what I used I used to call my students who are all now in their 50’s and 60’s They go, Judy we are in 50’s and 60’s! And I am like yeah but you will always be girls to me. Anyway, the stories from the Duke girls were all too familiar. Identity confusion, destroyed hopes, eroded self esteem, but how could this be? This was Duke in 2001 where there was a strong Women’s Studies Department and a feminist president What there was not, however, was a transformed curriculum As I point out in the book, when women were finally brought into higher education, no thought what so ever seems to have been given to the fact that they were going to be introduced to an entirely male centered curriculum As a result, as the pioneering women’s historian, Gerda Lerner, points out in the Creation of Feminist Consciousness, if you haven’t read, I would highly recommend Men develop ideas and systems of explanation by absorbing past knowledge in critiquing and superseding it. Women, ignorant

of their own history, do not know what women before them thought and taught and I would add created. So, generation after generation women struggle for insights others already had before them resulting in the constant reinventing of the wheel. The renowned art educator Elliot Eisner often spoke about the non curriculum The idea that what schools do not teach may be as important as what they do Sitting in classes that focus on men’s achievement with a few women thrown in coupled with the negative ways in which they were being treated called into question for my Duke students and many female students everywhere the institutional and societal stance about about female equality. I am going to read that again Sitting in classes that focus on men’s achievements with a few women thrown in coupled with the negative ways in which they were being treated called into question form my students the institutional and societal stance about female equality It was confusing and confused students cannot concentrate. They are physically present but intellectually absent. Or they engage in an intense inner struggle seemingly exercising their minds while wrestling with these crucial issues As a result, the personal tends to overpower all other concerns. This situation places immense pressure on women to accept the patriarchial status quo. Even if it means, as Gerda Lerner pointed out, they have to act against their own best interest Charlotte Tamplin writes in the male-dominated curriculum in English that it is by a process of complex social dynamics that the tastes and preferences of males have been institutionalized in the university to the point where even most women unquestioningly accept them This same situation is present in art. As I often say there’s the big art history and the little women’s art Even though for a long time female artists have been a major presence in the art world. A history that I outline in Chapter 2 of the book where I also discuss that studio art curriculum is inherently biased against women though perhaps not intentionally. Rather it is one manifestation of the fact that few studio art professors, female as well as male, are educated in women’s history and women’s art. As a result, they are often unequipped to adequately deal with female centered art, which in contrast to my own experiences in art school young women are free to create. I’m gonna get off the subject for one more minute to give you and then go back to the Duke class. To give you an example of what I mean by the inherent prejudice against women in curriculum. When Donald and I were living in Santa Fe, a friend of ours who taught at the Santa Fe’s Art Institute, which is now the Santa Fe University for Art and Design, asked me to do a critique for one of his students I walked into the students small because he said she was floundering. I walked into the student’s small studio and looked at her work, which was a series of eviscerated torsos Very painful. I looked at them for a few minutes and I said to her, tell me about how you were molested. Where upon she burst into tears and said she said all they said to me in my art school critiques was it might be better to hang these from an I beam In other words, her professors could not read the content of her work Why could I? Because I’m versed in women’s art history, I’ve looked at the work of hundreds of women, I’ve worked with hundreds of women whose subject matter often focuses on molestation, abuse, confusion about sexuality, their own and so I was able to identify the content in her work The fact that none of her professors even the well-meaning, are well-meaning friend who asked me to look at her work could not identify, critique or

help her transform this subject matter into affective art is a manifestation of inherent bias in university studio art education curriculum and it how it leaves female students in particular stranded. Although, I would learn when I began to have men in my class that it also leaves stranded men who have subject matter that falls outside of the parameters of contemporary art. Okay now back to the Duke class *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * *Discussion about sound system problems * You have to understand how completely both surprising and in some ways heartwarming this is because for so many decades people told me to shut up! *Laughter * *Laughter * Do you have any questions while we are waiting? Might as well use the time. Who are you? What do you do? I am actually a theater artist And my question was about this young woman, you said that she did not have a good mentor or someone who could help her with the art, so in other words there could have been more to be done with that piece that she was working, but no one knew how to help her? Absolutely, I mean one of the problems with the work was that is that it was too raw. It was too crude and because her professors could not, did not understand what she was trying to do in the first place they could not help her transform it into art. Okay, so I mean who wants to look at a bunch of eviscerated torsos right? There are ways of dealing with hot subject matter that helps you and since I have worked with so much hot subject matter in my life, birth and the holocaust I have personal experience as an artist but also I have this knowledge base of how other women…look at Frida Kahlo for example talk about transforming hot subject matter So on top of the fact that they, the university professors, didn’t have that knowledge there were not courses in the history of feminist art There were not…it wasn’t part of the mainstream curriculum even now like a lot of the young women who have been interviewing in relationship to this celebration of my getting to be an old lady They who have come through you know a change in consciousness, they still talk about they have to seek out this information. And as I have been saying I don’t see why we should study men and men don’t have to study us I mean what kind of fairness is that? I was about to tell you how smart the Duke students are, they really are smart Now what I had to do was provide them with some access to feminist theory because after all now there is decades of feminist theory that could help them put the experiences they were having at Duke into a historic context because most of them had come through high schools either all girls, you know Duke is a privileged school, they would come through either all girls high schools or like very, very small private schools where this thing about post feminism was going like going you can go out there now and you can do and be what you want blah, blah, blah They get to Duke, you know since we live in a post feminist era why study feminist theory? Why have women’s history? So they had no context to understand that what they were experiencing, I mean it seems remarkable right, but it was true!

They had no context to be able to understand that what they were experiencing of course had to do with their gender And the fact that Duke was still a highly male centered school. If fact, when that whole scandal erupted around the Lacrosse team, I mean it was not really that big a surprise having been at Duke Before I continue, the Duke show also had a huge impact They did a show at the end of the semester the administration was so impressed by the fact that it was so interdisciplinary and the students had produced…I mean these were undergraduate students working without studio space Most of them were working in their dorm rooms They just had…they really wanted to make art. So the school, the show was just supposed to be for the weekend, but the school the administration decided to keep it open for the duration of the semester across after the school break because they wanted everybody to have access to see it. Before I go on, I just want to venture an explanation about why the student shows like at IU, Duke and the rest of the places we have taught had so much impact To again quote Steven Henry Madoff, the contemporary art for arts sake stands has generated a fear of narrative content that is not serving us well in the 21st century. Modernism defines universalism partly through form devoid of social content but this has become a repetitive formula an armor without a body ultimately decorative. Earlier I mentioned the discrepancy between my early feminist art program and the direction in which art school education was heading A direction that definitely privileges form over content and learning how to act like an artist rather than learning how to make art. Hence, the lack of skill training outlined by Howard Singerman The quote about how he has a MFA in sculpture, but he can’t make sculpture he can only talk about being an artist And he came from one of the better schools in Southern California He never would quiet say whether it was Cal Arts or UCLA, but obviously from what he said, how he described it it was one of the best art schools in the country. Okay, could I have the next At the same time as my class at Duke, I also did a graduate seminar at the University of North Carolina in Capel Hill Half of the students were males, which provided the first real opportunity to discover whether my pedagogical methods could be applied to more than the occasional fellow. There were a couple of guys in the Duke classes. I was also curious to see what impact their presence would have on class dynamics Over the last 30 years, the subject of men in a feminist environment has been vigorously debated That is an understatement The consensus is that when men are present they tend to dominate the class. Despite the fact that my circle based pedagogy counters this tendency, there was a time when I was convinced that if men were present, women could not be themselves When I returned to teaching, I wanted to test this premise and in Chapter 5 I discuss what happened int he UNC class, which I don’t have time to go into now Suffice it say, that a number of my male students benefited from my approach especially in the next teaching project I did at Western Kentucky University, which I did with Donald It was called At Home and it revisited the subject of the home 30 years after Womanhouse this time with both male and female students And I think you all know that there’s an exhibition in the Special Collections Library of all the teaching projects along with a whole video installation of the various projects and my teaching, our teaching Again, the issue of erasure along with Gerda Lerner’s point about repetition became extremely relevant in the At Home project because the women unschooled in the history of the feminist art movement reiterated many of the same concerns already expressed in Womanhouse

In contrast, it was some of the male work that was startling Notably the subjects of male rape by a woman and murderous sibling rivalries. Some of the subjects that men took up, work I had never actually seen directly expressed in art. To further emphasize some of the deleterious affects of the non curriculum in this case for men I want to mention that while writing Institutional Time, I read a book called, Against the Tide, by Michael Kimmel and Thomas Moss Miller, which is a fascinating history of men who supported women’s struggles for equality The authors mention how surprised they were to discover over 1000 documents indicating men’s active participation in the suffrage movement. Like I didn’t know there were 30 or 40 men in Seneca Falls I never read that. The reason for the exclusion of this information from our standard histories is certainly worth pondering. Perhaps it does not serve the cause of male dominance to publicize the many eminent men who have challenged this continuation. An unfortunate consequence of this silence is that men who find themselves uncomfortable with the lack of gender equity in the world are also deprived of role models. Could I have the next? In Chapter 6, I deal with both the At Home project and Envisioning the Future, a public-private partnership that was supported by Cal Poly Pomona and the Pomona Arts Colony, which you probably don’t know what that is. It’s a collection of galleries, nonprofit arts organization, artists and institutions in and around downtown Pomona, which is about 40 miles east of L.A. and it’s called the Inland Empire. The Pomona project involved almost 80 participants, but this time instead of working directly with them, Donald and I attempted to train facilitators. Each of whom led a group composed of both students and practicing artists in an approach that I used dating to back to Womanhouse In fact one of them, the facilitators is here today. Bill are you here? Where are you? Bill Catlan was the facilitator for the sculputure group in Envisioning the Future and he then became the Head of the Art Department at Azusa Pacific where he was teaching And in the 10 years since Envisioning the Future, he’s been working on transforming the curriculum of the art department, which he is going to talk about tomorrow. I am very excited to hear him talk about that because of course it is part of this whole thing that is happening here. Which is how to take my pedagogical methods and make them available. And Bill is going to talk about how he adapted them. Anyway, while most of the facilitators, there were 8 of them, were able to adapt our pedagogy, several of them stumbled at the point at which they had to provide content based critiques or crits as they are called As everybody knows who has ever gone through studio art education they are an essential part of that process The failure of the facilitators was due in large part to the fact that Donald and I did not realize what a problem this point was going to be for some of them. Because for a lot the facilitators the crits they had themselves experienced in school where probably focused on form or materials and in some cases they were brutal A subject I take up in the book. Have any of you see, what was the name of that, oh I forgot the name of that movie. Oh Art School Confidential. did any of you see the film Art School Confidential? You know how people said, Oh they didn’t understand why there was a murderer in there. I am like what do you mean that you didn’t understand? The point of the movie was that art school crits can be murderous Right?! They can murder you, literally Particularly at Yale as I understand it. Although in both Envisioning the Future and At Home brought some unpleasant surprises mainly centering on the uneasy, often uneasy relationship between art and academia. From what we have heard since about Envisioning the Future many lives were changed. And some really interesting art was made that wouldn’t have happened without the project. As to At Home, John Oakes, a former faculty member at Western Kentucky organized a traveling show titled At Home On Tour,

which went to several venues And the project lives on in some of the scholarship that it has engendered and the fact that now, like all of my teaching projects, it’s archived in the Special Collections Library here at Penn State. And the model that John did, the 1/12th model, that John created of the At Home project is in the Special Collections exhibition Can I have the next? Our last teaching project was at Vanderbilt as I said. Where the Chancellor, Gordon Gee was then married to Constance Constance and i were interested particularly interested in trying to integrate studio art, art history and art education more closely In most university art departments these are compartmentalized as you know. In fact, when Donald and I first went to, just before we went to Vanderbilt, the art and art history department were fighting so intensely that Gordon was thinking about putting the department into receivership. Which is when the administration takes control of a department and like because they are so dysfunctional They did have a divorce. I mean they actually did have a divorce, which was how we got this incredible building, the Cohen Building Which had lived there together the art and art history department, but they left their own quarters. And so we got this incredible 13,000 square foot building where the participants worked and then we transformed into a huge exhibition. Although, I would say, I don’t know what Constance would say, but I would say that our success at trying to reintegrate studio art, art history and art education was dubious The exhibition itself was a huge success. In fact today, I was in the Special Collections Library and the TV that has all of the teaching projects, I was standing there Constance looking at you perform your piece with the mask Crowds of excited viewers at the opening kept saying they were blown away. And many of the student evaluations which we we shared with Gordon stating that they had learned more in the 4 months with us than they had during the rest of their college life Which I actually attribute to the power of art, the potential power of art In addition to describing the Vanderbilt in Chapter 7, which is titled Beyond the Diploma, I returned to the subject of the often bumpy transition between art school and professional art practice Oh I am sorry, this is me working with a student on her project at Vanderbilt. She was a very talented painter. She is actually a mathematics student, graduate student, but she had a burning desire to make art. She had very little training in art Usually, when you do paintings you start with the background and then you lay in the large areas of your figure and then you do the details. But since she had never gone to art school she started with the heads Meticulously painted floating in the space, in the canvas and then she of course got herself into a great deal of difficulty trying to pull it all together How many people here are artists? At this moment in time now I am going to go back to this thing about the transition between art school and professional art practice. At this moment the sheer number of graduate students is formidable. According to gradschools.com there are 918 graduate programs in art and fine arts in the United States alone Between 1990 and 1995, there were over 10,000 MFA degrees awarded. A number that is in no danger of diminishing Moreover at any given moment, there are 40,000 young artists walking the streets of New York looking for galleries and there is the same number walking the streets in London Most graduates emerge into an art world that provides very few ways for them to earn a living This forces many to work at full time jobs which leave little time or energy for making art. In general,

unless an artist comes from a wealthy family, there are only two sources of funding other than holding a full time job One is the gallery system which supports but a fraction of the many artists working or wanting to work in their profession And the only other well-spring of support is academia Where the competition is fierce because the quantity of candidates greatly exceeds the number of jobs I understand that there are 700 people applying for every job in studio art at the CAA This situation is made even worse by tenure, which ties up positions for decades even when the professors have ceased creating or exhibiting which is not uncommon Equally common are studio art professors who commandeer studio facilities for their own use A situation we encountered during our years in academia Donald could I have the next. These are all from Vanderbilt And when we were there, when we moved into the Cohen Building, we had to cut the locks off three-quarters of the sculpture studio, which had been commandeered by the sculpture professor for his own work And his students had been used as his assistants. So when I say it’s common for studio art professors to commandeer studio facilities for their own use I know where of I speak Or professors who really don’t care about teaching they only do it to earn money while they pursue their personal careers. Several students told me about one of their drawing professors who spent the entire semester in his office drawing while they were left by themselves in the studio without any guidance Curiously, university level teaching is the only area of education where no training is required Even Kindergarten teachers have to be certified Moreover, studio art education is in great flux with a hodge podge of approaches including a lot of winging it One common problem is that there is very little honesty about what the art world is really like. When I graduated from art school I was able to get by on minimal resources and to work long hours in my studio. At that time, there was almost no market for contemporary art at least not in Southern California Today the situation is vastly changed As artist, curator and educator Una Mjurka stated in also in art school, the pressure is on the art schools and programs to connect early with the art market and generate a smooth entry into the system while young artists are still under the school’s umbrella Unfortunately, the art world has a tendency to pick up, extol, reward and then discard young artists like so many used clothes An unfortunate tendency because careers disintegrate before the artists have the opportunity to mature. I often receive requests for advice from young artists The best response I can imagine is Craig Wilson’s eloquent answer in Art School, I think MFA programs should resisit the art world. Already legions of young artists come to New York to make it. The idea that this is the beginning of a life-long journey into the mysteries of making things seems to be a back-burner thought if it is thought at all How unfortunate. How wrong Being a nobody has its benefits. You can decide what you think about things Realize what is important to you. Develop your own way of seeing things and then your own way of creating things. His words echo my own beliefs expressed in my studio and in my teaching. That art is a process of discovery As I have stated repeatedly, I believe that it is the duty of the teacher to help their students find their personal visions and the means to express that What I have learned from my return to academia is that my philosophy stands in direct contradiction to most university studio art programs today Which emphasis form over content, dazzling media effects of meaning and outsourcing instead of developing skills So what is the answer? While we were still at Vanderbilt, I received a copy of

an upcoming article in a K-12 Art Education Journal that was presumably a tribute to me and the Dinner Party Although I understood that the teacher had good intentions, her project, which involved students creating autobiography plates was antithetical to my goals. In that the Dinner Party is meant to teach women’s history and to help girls move beyond the personal in order to expand their horizons By that time, plans were underway for the Dinner Party’s permanent housing. Reading the article convinced me that there should be some guidelines for teachers who wish to incorporate the piece into their art classes, which has happened many times over the years Like many university trained artists, I had always looked down on art education Intense dinner conversations with Constance at the Chancellor’s residence in Vanderbilt introduced me to a new way of thinking about K-12 art programs. Which Constance argued should not focus exclusively on making art but rather introduce children, most of who will not become professional artists, to a wide range of possible ways of being involved in art Of course this is true of most undergraduate art students also. They will not become professional artists. With Constance as my guide, I ventured into what was completely unknown territory which was K-12 art education and curriculum development. Much to my surprise, in contrast to the paltry amount of discourse on university studio art education, K-12 educators, I am sure some of you know this, but I didn’t, have long been involved in a comprehensive rethinking of art curriculum Something that in my opinion is long overdue in terms of university studio art education. I do not have time to discuss this any detail except there is a lot to be learned from some of the K-12 curriculum writers who have been integrating a sensitivity to gender and diversity and promoting a content-based and broad approach to the arts. Like Marilyn Stewart, who spoke this morning, about the K-12 Dinner Party Curriculum that we developed Admittedly, it is important to acknowledge that teaching art to children is quite different from training artists or providing a substantive art education to undergraduates, but in my opinion there is an urgent need for a radical restructuring of the art and studio art programs that are now offered. Which frankly, are deficient, dishonest, and lacking in standards. In addition we need to recognize that being an artist, even a successful one does not automatically make you a qualified teacher. In other words being in a Whitney Bi-Annual does not qualify you to teach at university level I have already argued that there needs to be a greater focus on content across the arts. In addition to helping students find their own subject matter, critiques should included discussions about content as part of a more holistic approach to art. In the book I talk about my visit to Moore College for Art, which is the only art college in American for women And the completely, the complete lack of guidance and help those young women were getting in finding their own voices. Moreover as I point out in the book, the overly harsh and unsupportive critiques that are prevalent today need to be acknowledged for what they are misguided attempt to separate out serious students from the rest if in fact that is their intent Giving the evolving nature of contemporary art any curriculum has to be flexible and adaptable. Certainly, it can not be the product of one person’s thinking. Which is why I am advocating a serious national or international dialog between studio art and art history professors, art educators and art professionals of all kinds. The 1970’s ushered in a dramatic change in consciousness regarding gender and diversity but that change has not yet been sufficiently translated into significant institutional change. What I am calling for is a radical transformation in policy and in curriculum. One in which women’s history women’s art, the feminist art movement along with the history and cultural production of other marginalized groups becomes fully and equitably integrated into our museums,

universities and art schools, which continue to promote a white male centered perspective with a few women and people of color thrown in. What Elizabeth Sackler describes as the salt and pepper approach. If such a goal sounds overly ambitious, I would like to remind my audience that long ago I set all by myself to teach women’s history through art. The Dinner’s Party world wide and on going impact demonstrates that change is possible especially if people work together for a common purpose I wrote Institutional Time in the hopes that there many members of the art community who are dissatisfied with the state of university studio art education and who will come together to achieve what Bell Hooks outlined in, Teaching to Transgress, the classroom with all it’s limitations remains a location of possibility In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom. To demand of ourselves and our comrades an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries to transgress. This is education and in my opinion art is the practice of freedom. Thank you *Applause * *Applause *