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In the face of polarization intensifying in reaction to globalization, we see evidence of this anti-inclusive impulse in political, religious, ethnic and cultural arenas. In the art world, the question of who owns a subject matter has again become a flash point in this move toward retaining and reestablishing borders and boundaries. When is a subject matter off limits? Is it the province of one person or group and not another?
Recently, as President of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), I gave remarks to at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on October 12, 2016. The assembled ideas have resonance beyond that meeting of representatives from higher education institutions accredited by the association, a body built on voluntary, peer membership. As an association of private and public multipurpose and stand-alone art colleges and universities offering associate, baccalaureate and graduate degrees, NASAD contributes to the field of art and design higher education by determining best practices in educating our students for a changing world.
Recently Creative Capital published an article entitled the Art School of the Future exhorting art schools to add business and communication content to their curricular programs to better prepare their graduates for the world of work. Creative Capital has been for many years, and continues to be, a vital source of information and support for artists. In the instance of this article, the Art School of the Future, there are many who will tell you it's already here as Deborah Obalil, the President and Executive Director of AICAD, the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, has pointed out. Among the AICAD member institutions, the free-standing, independent, non-profit art colleges in the US, many, if not all, have professional practices components in their degree programs.
The recent closing of Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft has given rise to heated protests in both Portland and across the country from those who champion craft. But what does “craft” mean? And, why are there passionate advocates of craft?
Defining craft has been my cause for six years as the President of Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC), and it has not been an easy task dispelling the misconceptions and extolling the intrinsic worth of craft. Let me share an example of a recent gathering of artists and scientists to illustrate the problem.
The 21st Annual Oregon College of Art and Craft Art on the Vine, Innovation in Making was a huge success.
The theme of the 21st Oregon College of Art and Craft Art on the Vine, Innovation in Making, incorporates the shift of digital technology into the world of craft and art. As attendees entered the Portland Art Museum, they were met by two 3D printers at work. Not your usual site at a gala, the printers were from our newly established OCAC FabLab, a digital fabrication laboratory funded the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust.