Executive Assistant

  • January 7, 2018 - January 28, 2018
  • 21 Winter St.
  • Rockland, ME 04841

Sundays in January, 2 pm
$30 Farnsworth and CMCA members; $36 Non-members – Full Series
$10 Farnsworth and CMCA members; $12 Non-members – Per Session

CMCA and the Farnsworth Art Museum are co-presenting “Art for Us,” a four-part discussion series led by Museum Educator Roger Dell during the month of January 2018. Presented over four consecutive Sundays, January 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 2pm, participants will discuss important questions concerning contemporary art and its historical context. Each session’s theme will be introduced by a brief slide presentation by Dell, followed by an open and engaging conversation. Take-home readings will be provided at each session to follow up on ideas and prepare for the next session.

Session One | What is Art?
The artist John Baldessari once said “Art is anything an artist does.” Can we be satisfied with that? Writer and critic Susan Sontag believed that art is the process of producing objects of grace, intelligence, expressiveness, energy, and sensuousness. This session will go beyond these two definitions of art, while examining many different answers to the question: “What is art?”

Session Two | What is the Role of the Art World?
The world of art is so much more than the discrete, stand–alone objects we call art. These objects are created by a single artist (or sometimes an artist collective); however, as soon as these objects leave the studio and are encountered by viewers, people in the gallery and museum worlds, their reception becomes unpredictable – and truly exciting! This session will explore the role of the viewer and the many people who show and purchase art, and who consequently close the circle, helping determine what the work of art really is, what it means, and how it is viewed and used. We will also look at our personal roles when it comes to the experience of art.

Session Three | What is Artistic Beauty?
Can it be as simple as “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” Probably not.  There exists an entire 300-year old discipline in the humanities called “aesthetics,” which attempts to definite what beauty is and what it looks like. We will begin with a broad look at beauty, trace its beginnings back to the ancient Greeks, then zero-in on the history of beauty in the visual arts. What happens when Euro-centric concepts of beauty are applied to Asian art or contemporary art, for example? How is beauty defined in contemporary art, and do contemporary artists even consider beauty when creating their work?

Session Four | What is the Role of Art within the Humanities?
Art was not originally included in the humanities when it was invented by the Greeks in the second half of the 5thcentury BCE.  However, as time passed, and especially during the time of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael in the Italian Renaissance, art was brought into the discussion. While aesthetics (a subcategory of philosophy) and art history (a subcategory of history), are typically found within the humanities departments of universities today, the production of art is not. In this discussion, we will examine whether art is its own field, one allied with the humanities, and/or whether it is an integral part of the humanities.

Presenter and discussion facilitator Roger Dell has taught art history, art appreciation, arts education, and the history of art museums from Hawaii to Maine, including the University of Maine, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and the Harvard Extension School. He is the former Director of Education at the Farnsworth Art Museum.

Location: Farnsworth (first two sessions) and CMCA (last two sessions).

To register for the Full Series, click here. Please print out and bring a copy of your e-ticket to expedite the check-in process.


Executive Assistant
  • January 7, 2018 - January 28, 2018
  • Center for Maine Contemporary Art
  • $30 Farnsworth and CMCA members; $36 Non-members – Full Series$10 Farnsworth and CMCA members; $12 Non-members – Per Session
  • Recurring weekly on Sunday