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Black Public Art in Philadelphia

ENGL 016.401
crosslisted as: AFRC 017
instructor(s):
MW 3:30-5
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Cultural Diversity in the US of the College's General Education Curriculum

 

            This seminar will introduce students to the power of public art. Outdoor murals, painted poetry, poetry performed outdoors, anti-museum sculpture, and outdoor theater will be the focus of this seminar. How does “public art” make the very idea of “art” gain new dimensions such as art as an event (not an object) and art as a community intervention? Our starting point will be outdoor murals in Philadelphia and other very recent art reconsidering the meaning of “public monuments.”

            In addition to our focus on contemporary public art in Philadelphia, we will focus on the role of public art in the 1960s and 1970s Black Arts Movement. The seminar will unveil the power of outdoor space to create art that has urgency and the openness of radical experimentation.