The Georgia Museum of Art has offered multiple educational programs throughout the pandemic, and Artful Conversation is one such opportunity to engage with art and community in a new light.
The GMOA will hold Artful Conversation via Zoom this Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. GMOA curator of education Callan Steinmann will guide discussion on the Philip Evergood painting, “My Forebears Were Pioneers.”
Artful Conversation is a guided examination and discussion focused on a single work of art for 30 or 45 minutes. This is not a traditional lecture program, moreso an open-ended, collective experience, Steinmann said.
Steinmann will ask questions and bring research on the artwork and artist to the conversation, but the flow of discussion is ultimately guided by the people who are there, Steinmann said.
GMOA has held Artful Conversations since 2011. Carissa DiCindio, the GMOA curator of education until 2017, began the program after reading the study “Spending Time on Art” by Jeffrey K. Smith and Lisa F. Smith which found that visitors only spend about 17 seconds looking at each work of art, DiCindio said.
The program allows visitors to connect with one another and with works of art, Steinmann said. DiCindio said it also provides an often perspective, changing dialogue about the art.
“After working on the program for a few years, I started choosing work in the galleries that were not my favorite,” DiCindio said. “After spending time with these works and talking about them with others, I found so many connections to them, and they often became some of my favorites.”
Artful Conversation is presented once a month entirely on Zoom. Beginning in March, many museum education programs like Artful Conversation moved online. In-person Artful Conversations consisted of up to 40 people gathering in the gallery for a close look at the painting.
Thanks to Zoom, however, there’s no space constraints and no limit to the number of participants, Steinmann said. The conversation is free and open to all.
“My favorite part about Artful Conversations is that it's a chance for people to share multiple perspectives and build on what others are saying,” Steinmann said. “There's no one right answer. Each person brings their own background, memories, likes and dislikes to their interpretation of a work of art.”