Can you teach beauty in art? U of Arts says yes

Deep thoughts on beauty are going down at Philly's University of the Arts. / Wikimedia commons
Deep thoughts on beauty are going down at Philly’s University of the Arts. / Wikimedia commons

Trying to help reshape and broaden an art school freshman’s perception of beauty can be tricky. Many incoming students already have a clearly defined idea of what beauty is, and sometimes it can be narrow. University of the Arts is more than happy to help broaden the beauty spectrum by way of new, team-taught curriculum. Notions of Beauty in Visual and Performing Culture is a one and a half credit course set to start next fall, and its intentions go well below the surface.
“I think about freshmen,” says Michele Kishita, the UArts Adjunct Assistant Professor who proposed the idea for the class. “I think about the perception they have on beauty as young artists. They already have an idea of what beauty is to them. I want to teach them how to have a bigger perspective so that when they go into practice they have ownership over their work.”
Along with the idea of beauty, the course also serves to educate on collaboration and various disciplines. That’s where the team-teaching comes into play. Kishita, a visual artist, will lead the class with performing artist and teacher Krishna Dunston. The goal is to nurture a cross-media point of view.

The class will begin with theory and works its way toward practice. The first six of the fifteen weeks is spent dissecting Crispin Sartwell’s The Six Names of Beauty, a book that explores the word beauty in six different cultures. “It’s based on language and how culture informs language,” explains Kishita. “Looking at beauty in these perspectives puts the students in a different mindset.”

After that comes the practice. In addition to keeping an online portfolio, students must collaborate on a group performance project that reflects their new take on beauty. “They all have different ideas by the middle of the semester, and now they’ll have to work together to create something,” Kishita says. At this point, though, beauty should be a much more dynamic concept.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.

NFL

Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.

NFL

Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…