Five College Consortium

Practicing Risk: Experiments in Public Art

Five College Advanced Studio Seminar students have spent a semester challenging the conventional definitions of art in a course that culminates with an exhibition of their work November 7-14. The closing reception is being held Friday, November 14, at 6 pm in Jannotta Gallery in Smith College's Brown Fine Arts Center.

Practicing Risk: Experiments in Public ArtThe seminar, Make it Public: Art and Social Practice, is the first of its kind at the Five Colleges. What was formerly an advanced drawing studio has evolved into a seminar that engages students in art making that is varied and contemporary. 

Taught by visiting faculty member Amanda Herman, the course introduced students to the emerging field of social practice and its historical context. Students surveyed contemporary projects and contributed to the field with their artistic creations. Their completed works include performative pieces, interactive media projects, community-based practices and social sculptures. Though each work springs from students' individual ideas and their backgrounds, the exhibition brings them together cohesively as a showcase of possibilities: not only of what public art can be, but of what art can do for the public.