ODU Art Education students in coordination with The ODU Bookstore (under the supervision of Art Education professors Patty Edwards and Richard Nickel) led a tour of the Ellin and Baron Gordon Self-Taught Collection Exhibition, Uncommon Power: The Eye of the Self-Taught Artist
on Feb 28, 2009.
Taking a cue from Dr. Seuss’ book Green Eggs and Ham, Art Education students chose specific paintings and sculptures from the Gordon Collection to tell stories about the complex relationships between people and animals. Through the ages artists have used animals in visual art and literature to try to explain aspects of our own human nature. The students researched the biographies of three artists from the exhibition and how they represented this complex relationship of animals and people in their paintings and sculptures. They were asked to create a tour of the work for Dr. Seuss day.
Students discovered that the relationship between animals and humans portrayed in the artwork is varied and complex. To some artists animals represent beasts of burden. Some are family pets. Some animal images in the artwork represented a personal identity for the artist. For some artists the animal imagery involved complex religious or psychological symbols.
Art Education students Sumi Kim and Jennifer Rodriguez led tours for over 150 parents and children from 11:00-1:00. Birthday Cake was provided by Professor Patty Edwards to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The Cat in the Hat even showed up and enjoyed the artwork.