Reinterpreting ‘Outsider’ Art

Reinterpreting ‘Outsider’ Art

Reinterpreting ‘Outsider’ Art

‘The Presto Quartz Heater’ by Jessica Park.

‘The Presto Quartz Heater’
by Jessica Park.

On Saturday, May 3, at 2 p.m., a panel discussion on Outsider Art will take place in the Ada Paresky Education Center at the Bennington Museum.

Join the audience to hear a panel of experts and artists discuss what has become an increasingly pressing concern among today’s art historian, critics, and institutions – the reinterpretation of modern and contemporary self-taught art. Moderated
by Museum curator Jamie Franklin, the panel will include Tony Gengarelly, professor emeritus at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and project director of the Jessica Park Project; Ken Burkhardt, former curator of exhibitions and the Chicago Cultural Center; and Karl Mullen, musician and visual artist. This museum program is free and open to the public.

The Bennington Museum has a long history of actively collecting and highlighting the works of self-taught artists, beginning with Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma) Moses.

Modern and contemporary self-taught art is typically defined by the unique artistic practices of its makers, seemingly uninformed by the mainstream art world and culture at large. The terminology used to describe this art, ranging from self-taught and folk to outsider and non-mainstream, has unstable boundaries. While ‘self-taught’ lacks the implicit condescension of the increasingly popular term ‘outsider,’ it, too, is imperfect. Terminology often distorts viewers’ perceptions, setting up preconceived notions.

Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington, Vt. Visit benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.

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