The School of Art and Design at Northern Illinois University will host a guest lecture by artist and experimental psychologist Dr. Ellen Winner, titled “How Art Works: Five Puzzles.”
Winner is professor of psychology at Boston College and senior research associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education. She directs the Arts and Mind Lab, which focuses on cognition in the arts in typical and gifted children as well as adults.
In her lecture, “How Arts Works: Five Puzzles,” Winner will discuss puzzles about the arts that have preoccupied philosophers as well as the general public. Can art be defined? Why do we seek out art that elicits negative emotions like sadness and fear? Why do we devalue a revered work once it is outed as a forgery? Is abstract art something “my kid could have done”? Does art enhance empathy? As a social scientist, she has tried to answer some of these questions through interviews, observations, and experiments. What she and other psychologists have found reveals surprising answers to these artistic mysteries, and helps us understand how art works on us.
The talk will be held virtually, Tuesday, November 10 at 4 p.m. Central Standard Time.
In it, she examines how psychologists have approached philosophical questions about the arts —
What makes us call something art?
Do we experience “real” emotions from the arts?
Do we believe aesthetic judgments have truth value?
Does engagement in the arts make us smarter?
Does reading fiction make us more empathetic?
Do beliefs about the artist’s process shape aesthetic judgments?
Is modern art something my kid could do?
What’s wrong with a perfect fake?
Is achieving greatness in art a matter of 10,000 hours of hard work?
Philosophers and laypeople have long puzzled about these kinds of questions. Psychologists have now begun to explore these questions empirically, and have made many fascinating discoveries using the methods of social science.
She has served as President of APA’s Division 10, Psychology and the Arts in 1995-1996, and received the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Research by a Senior Scholar in Psychology and the Arts from Division 10 in 2000. She is a fellow of APA Division 10 and of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics.
Larissa Barnat, a third year Master of Fine Arts student in the School of Art and Design earned the “Best Artist Video” prize at the Dangerous Lullabies VI art exhibition in Woodstock, Ill.
The exhibition is being held at the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, and opened on October 10. Artists were invited to submit work that explores the curious allure of things that frighten us–work of any medium designed to examine the beauty found in the ashes of terror or the magnetic pull of work that is disturbing, on-edge or dark.
Barnat’s MFA focus is on painting and she is working towards a certification in Museum Studies.
Her art has been exhibited internationally in London, and her work is part of a group exhibition in South Korea. Larissa double majored in painting and graphic design at Lewis University. She is a native of Burbank and attended Reavis High School.
Chelsea graduated from Columbia College in 2012 with a BA in Art Management. She worked in the talent management and hospitality industry before returning to NIU for the Masters in Art and Design Education program, graduating in the summer of 2020. Chelsea was hired during the government mandated shutdown in March and is currently teaching in-person at her new school as a middle dchool art teacher in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The School of Art and Design is hosting a visiting artist lecture by calligrapher, type designer and design historian Paul Shaw, on the words American graphic artist W.A. Dwiggins.
William Addison (W.A.) Dwiggins was a master calligrapher, book designer, and type designer. He began his career in Chicago working in advertising and lettering. He eventually moved to Massachusetts. He gained recognition as a lettering artist and wrote much on the graphic arts, his book Layout in Advertising was written in 1928 and remains a valuable reference still today.
Paul Shaw is a designer and design historian. He holds a BA in American Studies from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and an MA and MPhil in American Histoory from Columbia University. He has researched and written about the history of graphic design with a focus on typography, lettering and calligraphy.
Among his areas of interest are WA Diggins, George Salter, Morris Fuller Benton, Bartolomeo Sanvito, Andrea Bregno, blackletter and the signage of the New York City subway system.
Shaw’s lecture, “The Lettering and Calligraphy of W.A. Dwiggins” will be presented via Zoom, Wednesday, November 4 at 9:30 a.m.
Zoom information Zoom.us
Meeting ID – 845 8310 3425
Passcode – 504803
Students, faculty, staff and community members joined together on Thursday, Oct. 1 on Castle Drive to enjoy music from the NIU Black Choir, percussion and jazz ensembles of the NIU School of Music and a performance by students in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, and to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street between Davis Hall and the east lagoon. The event was presented by the NIU Center for Black Studies and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
The entire community is invited to join together to help paint “Black Lives Matter” on Castle Drive. Paint, rollers, and brushes will be supplied.
Participants will be limited to 50 at any one time, but attendees may join in at any time throughout the afternoon to make their mark and show their commitment to social justice.
Safety measures will be followed. Masks must be worn. Wipes will be used to clean the brush handles and rollers after each use. Safety protocols will be facilitated by members of the Center for Black Studies and students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
In addition to the group painting, there will be performances and speakers throughout the event, including the NIU Black Choir, jazz ensembles, percussion ensemble, dance improvisation, and readings from a variety of texts.
“The paint used is water-based and non-toxic,” said Paul Kassel, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “It is expected to last through the rest of the fall semester. Though the image may fade, our commitment to social justice and to a strong Huskie community will remain vivid and strong. We believe that one answer to a hateful act is an act of affirmation of our values. It is in that spirit that this event is being held—to testify and signify to all that NIU holds an unshakeable belief that Black Lives Matter.”
For more information, contact the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Donee Spizzirri at firstname.lastname@example.org.