Jenelle Davis

Jenelle will be presenting at the 106th annual College Art Association (CAA) international conference.  
Presentation date: February 21, 2018 

About the conference from the CAA’s website: “CAA’s Annual Conference consists of four days and over 300 presentations, panel discussions, workshops, special events, and exhibitions exploring the study, practice, and history of art and visual culture. As the best-attended international forum in the visual arts, the Annual Conference creates a community of practitioners, scholars, and the general public seeking to learn and connect.”

From Jenelle:

This will be my second opportunity as a graduate student to present at this valuable and advantageous conference. After presenting in 2014, I was asked to submit my presentation paper for peer-review to a special issues of the academic journal Public Art Dialogue, which was subsequently accepted and published in 2017. It would be an honor for me to be awarded this travel fund honoring Okla, with whom I had many opportunities to converse (and argue) about the topic on which I will be presenting at CAA.   Panel Title: “A Public Art Primer: Expanding Form and Content” Proposal Title: “Hidden in Plain Site: Extracting the Potential of Public Art as a Tool for Teaching Sociopolitical Topics”   Abstract 
Although we are surrounded by a plethora of monuments, memorials, and public art, one tends to be immune to their multifaceted significance, both historically and contemporarily, and we are often unaware as to the great affect these objects have on our societies. Integrating a careful reflection on art in the public sphere into art history survey classes can broaden student’s understanding of visual culture, and offer additional strategies, which may bolster student’s interest in the field, but an equally unparalleled opportunity lies in offering courses which focus primarily on the sociopolitical significance of public art, memorials, and monuments, and the politics of memory. Using public art as a teaching tool, is not only necessary to encourage living creatively, but it also promotes historical, political, and social understanding and awareness, and can support a climate where student feel comfortable and safe to discuss diverse and often difficult topics. By featuring specific examples of syllabi, course assignments, and student’s final projects from a course I developed and taught for the Humanities Department at Illinois Institute of Technology, I will illustrate that featuring public art in undergraduate courses provides a rich educational opportunity with incredible, and often unexpected results.