PAD Newsletter: Fall 2019

Fall 2019 | Volume 11, Issue 2
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Victor Arnautoff Life of Washington buon fresco murals: Washington at Mount Vernon with the laborers of a plantation: enslaved African-Americans as well as Caucasian tradesmen. Credit: Tammy Aramian/GWHS Alumni Association.

By Mya Dosch

Public art—and its role in upholding white supremacy—continues to capture public attention in the post-Charlottesville United States. This year, the San Francisco Board of Education debated the fate of the 1936 Life of George Washington murals by Victor Arnautoff (1896-1979) in the stairwell and lobby of that city’s George Washington High School. Art history classrooms should be grounds where students engage with these most current debates over the role of public art. Here, I outline an activity for two or three class sessions (approximately three hours) on the Arnautoff murals that aims to both address the complexity of recent debates and create space for dialogue across differing opinions. It also addresses students’ affective responses.

By Lori Goldstein and Sara Weintraub

Recently, we have witnessed a significant rise in the attention given to public art projects that focus on global environmental issues. While the intersection between public art and the environment is not necessarily new, the methodologies for bringing the environment to the forefront of both mainstream culture and local communities is a phenomenon that deserves special attention. Dr. Cameron Cartiere is a Professor of Public Art and Social Practice at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC and a practicing artist who engages directly with this discourse. She also serves as the co-editor-in-chief of the international peer-reviewed journal Public Art Dialogue. The following interview asks Dr. Cartiere to share her insight into the evolution of the field and her own work exploring environmentalism.