May 12, 2020 —CVAD News and Views visits today with Matthew Bourbon, professor of studio art.
N&V: Can you share a little about how the last few weeks have been for you (as a teacher, as an artist), your plans for the summer, your fall classes, upcoming projects, online Zoom experiences, online exhibitions, or...anything you would like to share?
Bourbon: Like all faculty, I have been quickly adjusting to teaching remotely during the COVID crisis. While there are some obvious challenges teaching art away from the traditional classroom, it has led to some interesting shared experiences with students. For instance, on Canvas, I assigned and moderated some group critiques of student work onto discussion boards. I think the ease of posting their artwork and commenting on other’s artwork from a bit of distance was freeing for students, allowing them to often be more direct with their feedback to their classmates. Sometimes students can be reticent to talk during the in-person critique, and the peer-to-peer commenting on Canvas proved useful in eliciting focused, yet wide-ranging discussion. The increase in students giving mini art lectures via Zoom has also led to positive training and testing for students about how to present their work in a professional manner.
While teaching remotely, I’ve been active in the studio, creating a new body of paintings for my next solo show at Kirk Hopper Fine Arts Gallery in Dallas, and preparing a work that I will exhibit at the Fall Painting Conference, “Is There Painting in Texas?” at Texas Tech University. I also participated in Pandemic Faire, which is an online exhibition of sorts started in response to the social isolation that prevented normal viewing of art in galleries and museums. I continue to write reviews and articles about exhibitions, including the recent Mark Bradford exhibition that had to go exclusively online after all Texas museums closed.
For fall, I will be teaching a range of undergraduate Drawing and Painting courses that will certainly incorporate the lessons learned from this time teaching and working remotely.
Bourbon is an active art critic, contributing to Art Forum, the Dallas Morning News, Flash Art, ArtNews, New York Arts Magazine, and Glasstire online arts journal.
Image: Matthew Bourbon – My City (Remembered, Forgotten, Invented) 2019, Acrylic On canvas 60 × 60 inches. Kirk Hopper Fine Art Gallery in Dallas.