Art, Culture, Life at St. Lawrence University
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We are pleased to introduce North of Sixty, the gallery’s new Drupal-based digital image collection of Canadian Inuit prints and drawings. Drupal is an open-source content management system that is highly customizable and in this instance able to incorporate resources and contextualize information to enhance viewers’ understanding and appreciation of works of art. Eric Williams-Bergen, SLU science librarian and expert in all things digital, has been crucial in establishing a workflow for digital image collections and has created this Drupal site with its dynamic display of images, ease of use, and enhanced display capabilities.
Cathy developed the idea for this online collection as a result of her longstanding interest in Inuit art and two trips to Nunavut in 2000 and 2004. Since the early 1990s, the gallery has been exhibiting and collecting Inuit art, and the creation of an online database for teaching and research can provide the campus community with quick access to this rich resource. With SLU programs in Canadian Studies and Environmental Studies, the Inuit art collection can be used to discuss nature, town and camp life, spirituality and religion, and other topics.
The digital collection has been several months in the making, with digital photography and cataloguing taking place during the 2009-2010 academic year.
As part of the process, Carole set up the gallery as a photography studio. She and Arline Wolfe, who has assisted with numerous digital projects for the gallery, worked together on the post-processing of images, including renaming and cropping image files, color correcting, and other tasks. Arline uploaded and catalogued the images, adding metadata in CONTENTdm, a database program used by many academic libraries, galleries, and archives. In addition, the Brush Gallery was one of the first institutions to contribute a significant body of Inuit prints and drawings to ARTstor, an international digital image library that provides resources for the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences. Cathy and Carole also compiled the new site’s art bibliography with additional links to other online resources.
Kudos to Cathy and Eric for making this amazing collection possible!
– Carole Mathey and Arline Wolfe
Last Friday, the Upstate New York chapter of the Visual Resources Association met for its semiannual meeting at the Brush Gallery.
After a brief business meeting, Jesse Henderson from Colgate described the function of the Colgate Visual Resources Library site, and John Hosford talked about the use of Libguides at Alfred University’s School of Art and Design. Cathy spoke about digital collections at the Brush Gallery, and how we are using CONTENTdm and ARTstor, with emphasis on the Roy Collection of West African Textiles.
At the end of the day, we looked at a selection of textiles — I think the VRA’ers enjoyed seeing the real objects since they work mainly with digital surrogates.
At an African Studies meeting this afternoon, I’ll be presenting information about the Nsukka artists and contemporary Nigerian art digital collection project that the Gallery is working on this year. Here are some of the artists in the project and a few blog resources.
ARTSPEAKAFRICA, Bisi Silva’s blog of Nigerian art and artists.
African Artists on Nsukka artists.
embedded by Embedded Video
Victor Ekpuk’s drawing performance
Ofodunka, blog of Chika Okeke-Agulu.
This from the MacArthur Foundation outlines 11 new skills regarding media literacies. Although the article is geared toward children, the skills seem quite useful for college-aged students and older adults (IMHO).
Play — the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem solving;
Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery;
Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes;
Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content;
Multitasking — the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details;
Distributed Cognition — the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities;
Collective Intelligence — the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal;
Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources;
Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities;
Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information;
Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.
“The Copyright Advisory Office is a new service based at Columbia University to address the relationship between copyright law and the research, teaching, and service activities of the university. Complex copyright issues arise as members of the university community create and use a rich variety of works. Under today’s law, copyright protection applies automatically to almost all writings, artworks, motion pictures, computer programs, and websites. Copyright protection extends to dance choreography, architectural designs, and even the flood of routine emails. Whenever we create or use any of these materials, we may stir copyright questions. One of the main objectives of this office is to help address these issues in a constructive and practical manner, and in the best interests of advancing the university’s teaching and research mission. This website will evolve and grow. Its overarching purpose is to provide information to the academic community in order to help faculty members, librarians, administrators, students, and others to learn and apply copyright principles of importance to their work.”
A recent post from Lorne Oke on the NMC listserv (02July09) suggested that “the New Epistemology requires…the ability to find/collaborate/sift/sort/discern information rather than read/listen/memorize/mimic instruction. This is a very different skill set than what we are currently ‘teaching’ and assessing. The real challenge will be to create systemic change that fosters a fundamental shift on the part of our teachers/faculty to adapt to this new paradigm. Once our learning communities accept these realities, can we assist each other in embracing them?”
I’ve done a little repair work (finessing? is that a better word?) to the links for the image collections, so they should be functioning better now.
The link is now fixed, but all of the links to CONTENTdm collections need further refinement. That bit of tweaking should happen fairly shortly, but you can access the image collections from the gallery web page at http://www.stlawu.edu/gallery.