María Villa, 2013-2014 President Néstor Kirchner Fellow, successfully completed her two weeks stay in New York
March 5th, 2014 · The New School · New York
The 2013-2014 President Néstor Kirchner fellow, María Villa, from Colombia, ended his stay in New York with a public lecture at The New School, where she presented her work related to art mediation. The lecture took place after two weeks in which she held meetings and seminars with professors, visited museums and art institutions, and had exchanges that enriched her project.
Entitled "Meaningful Experiences and Art Mediation Research Laboratories", the research carried out by María, a philosopher and art editor, is based on activities she carried out in Colombia. Realizing that people may times feel alienated at museums and that they are not able to understand or find a relation to contemporary pieces of art, she proposed activities that helped the audience relate to the works from a different, more personal perspective. Her findings during these experiments helped her learn more about the audiences feelings and thoughts, and to engage them more with art.
Seminars at The New School
From February 24th to March 9th, María was received by the academic community at The New School, where she was able to share his experience, hold debates about her work and receive contributions and suggestions to improve it.
Her first seminar included the participation of Margarita Gutman, programs director at the Observatory on Latin America; professors Peter Lucas, Alberto Minujín and Chris London. Desiree LaVecchia, coordinator of the Observatory on Latin America; Michael Cohen, director of the Graduate Program in International Affairs; and students from different orientations also participated.
A week later, she held her second seminar with the attendance of The New School professors Tracyann Williams, Christian Schneider, Hazel Clark, Julia Foulkes, Michelle Bogre, Lily Ling, Carin Kouni, Margarita Gutman and William Morrish. Professor Mindy Thompson Fullilove, from Columbia University, and The New School graduate students from several Divisions also participated.
Interviews in New York
In her two-week stay, María met with The New School following professors: Shana Agid, Louise Montello, Carin Kouni, Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, Cynthia Lawson, Lydia Matthews, Michelle Materre, Erica Kohl Arenas, Radikha Subramaniam, and Peter Lucas.
María visited the Brooklyn Kids Museum, and met with Marcos Stafne, Vice-President of Prgrams, and the Queens Museum, where she met with Jodi Hanel, Director of Development, Mitra Dejkameh, Coordinator of Art Access, and Jason Yoon, Director of Education. She had meetings with Chrysane Stathacos, from Artists Space; Jackie Chan, Education Director at BRIC Arts Media House, and Hawley Hussey, Director of Contemporary Art at BRIC Arts Media House.
María also met with the dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy, Michelle de Pass and director of the Graduate Program in International Affairs Michael Cohen.
María presented her work "Meaningful experiences in Art Mediation," speaking after the presentation of the other 2013-2014 President Néstor Kirchner fellow Fernando Kleiman, from Brazil. The conference entitled "Policy and Practice for Inclusion: Brazil and Colombia," held on March 5th, 2014, gathered a large audience that included graduate students, professors and a general public.
Margarita Gutman, Director of the President Néstor Kirchner Fellowship, introduced the Executive Dean of the The New School for Public Engagement David Scobey, who highlighted the importance of the program within the university and for South America.
The Brazilian Consul in New York, Ana Cabral, presented Fernando's work, praising his contribution for the development and labor policies related to inclusion her country is carrying out. Fernando presented his work on productive inclusion, based on his experience working at the Brazilian government.
María was introduced by the Colombian Consul in New York, Elsa Gladys Cifuentes Aranzazu, who highlighted the importance the experiences Colombians have abroad for their country. During her presentation, María talked about the projects she carried out with the aim of overcoming the existing gap between art and spectators. She reflected on the ethics of engaging people with art, and presented examples of activities she did in Bogota.
The lecture was very well received by the audience, and the event concluded with exchanges between the lecturers and the audience, moderated by the Executive Dean.