Monday Five: Art News Roundup 04.16.12

After a few slow weeks in terms of art news, things are picking back up again. Whether it was the passing of a celebrated artist like Thomas Kinkade or this week’s news that the University of Iowa plans to celebrate artist Grant Wood is a very special way, there are a lot of interesting happenings in the art world. If you have any news you think we should include, email us at info@theartcareerproject.com.

The Five

1. The University of Iowa is honoring one of its most famous faculty members by turning an old house into an art colony where aspiring artists can live and work together. The faculty member was Grant Wood, the painter of the celebrated American Gothic piece and the University is turning the house where he used to reside into a cultural center. Kudos to the university for finding an inspired way to not only honor a great artist and former faculty member, but also promote the world of art in general.

2. It is only loosely related to art, but David Stabler of The Oregonian had an interesting take on anger, and how it can be used to fuel creativity. He uses Steve Jobs, painter Mark Rothko, and poet Adrienne Rich as examples of creative geniuses whose infamous tempers may have actually aided in their brilliance rather than hindering it. There aren’t a lot of redeemable things about being an uncompromising jerk, but as Stabler points out, that anger “can be mighty useful if you’re trying to change norms, subvert tradition or undo constraints.”  There is certainly a fine line between fueling your work with anger and just being a jerk, but we can appreciate Stabler coming at anger from a different direction.

3. Here is a compelling look at the College of Wooster’s new Museum Studies class. Compromised primarily of upperclassmen, the class was an instant hit with the students and it is exciting to see that students are getting the opportunity to not only get their feet wet in the world of museums, but also that they get to basically be student curators as a part of a class assignment. It is even more exciting to know that a bunch of the 17 students in the inaugural class aren’t even art majors.

4. A pair of artists from Iran got lucky, received difficult-to-get “diversity visas” to travel to the United States, and now they are trying to jump start their art careers in the United States as well. It takes quite a bit of courage to leave established art careers anywhere in the world, but for Sahar Fattahi and her husband, Ahmad Rafieir, it must have taken a tremendous amount of courage to leave their steady life in Iran and travel to the United States. I mean the young couple haven’t even found their own place yet. They are looking for jobs, sleeping at a friend’s house, and exploring what they call “the art center of the world.” Here is to hoping they find what they are looking for and find their niche in the art world.

5. In light of news that Serbian police are now guarding what is believed to be a once-stolen Impressionist painting by the legendary Paul Cezanne, Time took a detailed look at five of the most famous art heists in history. If you stay abreast of current events or are a fan of art, you may recognize one or two of these heists from the news. But Time goes into way more details and it is a really fun read.