April 29, 2015

Art Blogger of The Week: Naomi Hart in Los Angeles, USA

Naomi Hart, photographed by Brandon T. Johnson

Naomi Hart and I share a passion for art education and I'm so excited that in her blog Art Adventurer Naomi focuses on that niche of "education, learning, risk-taking and creativity". She recently moved from the UK to Los Angeles and therefore she has a pretty good idea of how different approaches to art education can be. In comparison, I can only get a little frustrated in Germany where art education is not very high on the list. For inspiration, check out Naomi's blog! And if you want to know more: Naomi has also a second blog about her own art. And you can follow her on twitter.

Art scene in LA
"LA is a massive city and the visual art scene in the LA area is hugely diverse.  Put simply, there are a huge number of spaces that show art, but the work shown varies vastly, as does the reason the work is shown and the vibe of the space itself.  There are a number of very well established art museums that show contemporary art, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and LACMA.  There are also a huge number of private and commercial galleries, some of which showcase emerging contemporary talent and many others that show depressing mediocre work destined for the walls of wealthy and unadventurous wannabe art collectors.  I'm still very much discovering the art scene here, while I've spent a lot of time in LA I only actually moved here last year.  In my view, one of the coolest things about the LA art scene are the "Art Walks" that happen regularly around the city.  These are weekend-long events which invite all the art spaces - galleries, studios, pop-up performance venues, within a particular area to throw open their doors to the public.  You can grab a drink and great food from local food trucks and roam around, moving between voyeuristic glimpses into artists' wonderfully messy studio spaces and sterile gallery spaces.  It's a great way of looking at all kinds of different work and as an artist I find it so motivating to see so many artists working away at a grassroots level.  I think it's a healthy and inspiring alternative to always viewing the work of the select few that have made it into the collections of the established art institutions.  For me, as an artist and an art lover, Art Walks always offer a great opportunity to talk to other artists about their work, scope out interesting exhibition spaces, navigate your path through some awful and some amazing art and hang out with a crowd of engaged and excited art lovers." 

Why I blog
"I am an artist and an educator.  In addition to making art, I used to work as a full time art teacher and head of the art faculty at a huge secondary school in the North-East of England.  I'm as madly passionate about education as I am about art, and when I decided to take a year-long sabbatical from my job and spend it in LA focusing on my own art practice and doing some research into art education within the art museums in Los Angeles, I needed somewhere to share my observations and experiences.  I've always been interested in writing about art education and I've had a few articles published in art ed publications in the UK, and when I returned from the sabattical I was encouraged to submit my research to an academic journal.  I was skeptical, but I decided to have a go.  To cut a long story short, it was rejected for not quite being academic enough in tone and structure, which was absolutely fair.  It lead me to think a lot about how important it is to share ideas, experiences and concerns about art education but I realized that my day-to-day writing existed somewhere slightly outside of the academic realm.  I already had a blog for my artwork, but it was really liberating (and slightly scary) to set up my Art Adventurer blog and have somewhere to post my writing.  Now, my blog contains quick ideas for art class lessons inspired by contemporary art and useful resources for art education in addition to longer posts.  I'm starting to connect more with other bloggers and I'm excited about trying to expand my blog even more to contain guest bloggers.  While it really started as somewhere I could put my writing, I'm trying to get my blog out there more now.  As more people follow it, I hope to get more feedback about how to make it even more useful, interesting or engaging for people." 

"Bringing home the bread"
"At this point, I'm just really excited about using my blog to share good practice and ideas within art education.  I find that writing is a great way to clarify my own thoughts and ideas to myself as well as others, and having my blog is a great motivating factor - finally I have somewhere to put this stuff!  I don't really think about my blog as something that I could monetize directly, but it has been a really useful place to direct people when I apply for jobs and other professional opportunities.  It's valuable proof that I'm passionate about art education, that I have research experience, it is a read-made sample of my writing for opportunities that have a writing aspect, so I've found that sending a quick link to my blog is a great way to supplement by resume." 

1 comment:

  1. I've been to events at other places, but this was my first time in here. Great place. Food at rental halls in Philadelphia was good and seating was very comfortable. Also, very good view from where I sat. This is such a cool venue and the atmosphere was equally amazing.