What a whirlwind the last few months have been withmore to come, because for me, Pacific Standard Time (the Getty initiative involving institutions from Santa Barbara to San Diego documenting and celebrating the history of southern California art 1945-1980) is a long way from over. By the time it concludes, Donald and I will have made five trips to L.A. ranging from five days to over two weeks. For now, there is a break so I will report on all the PST and other 2012 activities after the holidays.
The Judy Chicago Art Education Collection is now open to the public at Penn State University Libraries in The Special Collections Library, as well as online. The ongoing difficulties the university is facing saddens me. But as Barbara Dewey (Dean of University Libraries) wrote to me recently: "Penn State is going through a widely publicized turbulent period right now. I believe that Chicago's archive along with the acquisition of other feminist collections will be instrumental resources for changing the culture at the university. The contents and scholarship around the Collection represent a sensibility and breadth of voices sorely need at both the school and the society".
I am indeed glad at the prospect that my archive might be especially useful now. The Collection includes videos, photographs and notes on my eleven teaching projects and complements The Dinner Party Curriculum Online Project(spearheaded by Marilyn Stewart with Peg Speirs and Carrie Nordlund, and in collaboration with me and Constance Gee - my guide as I explored K-12 art education in preparation for working on the Curriculum).
On November 4th, thirty art education graduate students and faculty from Ohio State, Penn State and Teacher's College were introduced to my Collection as part of a Graduate Research in Art Education conference. The participants generated a series of research areas that included reviewing the history of feminist art education and its relationship to visual culture; studying the evolution of my teaching methods; assembling oral histories by my students; and other fertile topics. Of course, it was my fervent hope that my archives at Penn State would stimulate new research, but I didn't anticipate it happening quite so quickly.
Undoubtedly, one reason that this is happening is because of Karen Keifer-Boyd, who has been promoting my archive in many venues. She is also involved in the planning of a series of campus-wide and outreach events honoring me that will take place in 2014, including exhibitions, performances, symposiums, film series and webcasts. Speaking of webcasts, Karen arranged for ourCelebration Sunday panel discussion to be filmed so that it can be webcast sometime soon from the Penn State website.
All of the activities generated by the presence of my archive at Penn State are combining with other requests to affect Through the Flower's focus. As previously mentioned, we are turning our attention to becoming a resource center, particularly because we are receiving a variety of requests from students and scholars; for example: in early 2012, we will have several visitors who are coming to New Mexico (one from as far away as Manchester, England) to explore the Birth Project collections at The Albuquerque Museum and the University of New Mexico. In addition, they will be examining Through the Flower's archives and interviewing me.
We are all looking forward to this new phase in Through the Flower's evolution, and hope that our many friends and supporters will be as excited as we are by this transition - which will secure the historic legacy that you helped us to create. Please remember that the end of the year is a perfect time to make your annual donation, renew your membership and do your holiday shopping at our on-line store.
Best wishes for the holiday season,