The Texas A&M University-San Antonio Department of Language, Literature, and Arts is shaking things up for the fall 2021 semester with a different approach to one of its art courses.
Justin Korver, art appreciation lecturer, and Dr. Adrianna Santos, assistant professor of English, are teaching the new ARTS 1302, LatinX Art Appreciation course with the help of artist Margarita Cabrera.
“We think she’s a really important, interesting model of what an artist who is embedded in our community looks like,” Korver said.
Cabrera’s work focuses on social and political community issues involving cultural identity, migration, violence, inclusivity, labor and empowerment according to Cabrera’s site. She produces sculptures made of steel, copper, wood, ceramics and fabric.
“The instructor is just the person who provides structure,” Korver said. “It’s about what the students will bring to the class.”
The course will be broken up into three parts with the first consisting of the professors setting the stage for the course.
“Here is a whole bunch of text that we think is important, here are institutions we think are important,” Korver said in describing the first part of the course. “Read, look and activate those things.”
The second part will have Cabrera step in assisting students in creating sculptures from her “Spaces in Between” exhibit .
The exhibit consists of desert plants sewn out of fabric made from the material of Border Patrol uniforms. The plants are embroidered on the surface with the story of migrant people.
In the last third of the course, students will share what they learned, how they perceived the course and how they plan to translate their thoughts into art.
“Now what are you going to do,” Korver said, describing the last third of the course. “How are you going to engage with the world as it is?”
Korver plans to partner with organizations to gather migrant stories and fuse those stories into the artwork. In the end, he hopes to display the students’ artwork on campus.
“These classes are the beginning of art expanding at the university,” Korver said.
Artists who attend A&M-San Antonio can now have a new experience driven solely by their passion with a less hands-on approach from their instructors.
“It’s an inversion of the Colonial structure where the instructor is the most important person in the room,” Korver said of the course’s structure. “I don’t need to download what I think into your head.’
LatinX Art Appreciation will meet Monday and Friday from 11 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
For more information about the class, email Justin Korver at Justin.Korver@tamusa.edu
This story was updated on May 13, 2021, to correct the title of Dr. Adrianna Santos.