Course Description

How do artists and designers engage communities and the public in their work? What does it mean to work within a community as a collective, as opposed to publicly presenting work as a solo artist or designer? In this contemporary art history course, you will explore the aesthetic, historical, and socio-cultural aspects of community arts and socially engaged art through lectures, videos, readings, reflections and discussions.  We will uncover the relationship artists/designers have with building communities and creating localized cultures, and how specific Los Angeles communities have used art as a means to occupy political territories over time.  We will meet with contemporary artists, designers and local non-profit arts organizations, museums and public sites to engage in current social practice work in the field and to learn how they create cultural agency and cultivate a rich sense of place. Lastly, you will learn how to develop and write your own proposal for working with local communities to create positive change through socially engaged art. Required for Art Education: Teaching Artist Specialization students.


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