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Art knowledge to prepare for the real world

By Sarah Hess
On March 16, 2018

Maine artist and professor Kate Green traveled to the south to present on her life journey as an artist during her photography lecture.

The event was held on Monday, March 12 at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Green explained the theory behind her series that accompanied the lecture.

 “It was an artist talk,” said Green. “Basically, I started presenting work that I made when I was an undergraduate, so pretty much when I was the same age as the students. I described how the work has evolved from when I was studying photography up until now.”

Green began with photography landscapes. Her recent work has been on photographs of fireworks and the construction of images to look like outer space.

Instructor of photography Lily Brooks recommended Green to present to the art students. The Contemporary Art Gallery and the Center for Faculty Excellence were able to invite Green to campus for her lecture through an enhancement grant.

“They choose people who are going to serve the greater community,” said Brooks. “It’s a faculty-led decision. So, I applied for the grant, and had Kate in mind when I wrote the grant.”

Brooks gave her thoughts on the crowd’s response to Green’s lecture.

“I thought the lecture was great,” said Brooks. “We had a great turnout. A bunch of the faculty from different disciplines brought their students.”

Brooks shared why she invited Green because of her interdisciplinary practice as a photographer.

“Much of the work that she does building up to that is research into historical references and literature and all kinds of things, but also working in a way that has a strong relationship with sculpture and even painting and other kinds of artistic practices,” said Brooks.

Brooks explained why it is good for students to hear from people such as Green who works in their field and got her master’s from Yale, the most prestigious photography program in the country.

“It’s so important for them to be able to identify with artists who are working in their practice,” said Brooks. “So meeting a person face to face, you realize that a person is just like you and imagine yourself in their shoes someday.”

Brooks shared how getting professionals in to lecture helps prepare students to be real-world ready.

“I think you get a perspective on the struggles that a person has getting to where they end up and that an important part of what we do as artists is make mistakes and fail,” said Brooks. “That’s a big part of the learning and growing process. I think a lot of people feel pretty uncomfortable, but it’s really necessary. If we can have people here who can speak to our students one on one candidly about that, it benefits the students.”

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