ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Classes at WAM

I've been at the Worcester Art Museum for nearly 13 years, made a lot of great friends and worked with literally thousands of extremely talented students, some of whom have gone on to careers in the arts as well.

With the recent change in direction from the top at WAM I'm not completely certain these classes will continue for another 13 years.  I like a lot of the changes that have been made, but others make me scratch my head.

I do think there is a tremendous need for the classes WAM currently offers and hopefully the powers that be at that institution see it as well.

A museum should not be about JUST the art, it should be about exposing that art to the masses, not to the intellectual few who have had the means, the will and the upbringing to appreciate the arts.  The arts must be accessible to all.  Our duty as art educators is to present that art in a way that someone who thinks they have no interest finds one.

I watched the recent documentary THE ART OF THE STEAL and it was a frightening look at the more sinister aspects of the business world of museums and their collections.  When it comes down to it, for some museums-- it's all about the money.    I'm not saying this is how it is at WAM by any means, but its becoming the norm more and more in the survival of some of its sister museums.

WAM is a phenomenal institution, but that means we need to offer classes and events that appeal to a broad range of people.  We can't dust off the old ideas and present them as new.  We've seen changes in the education wing, now we need to see equally brave changes in the other departments and the attitudes there as well.

The Cafe has to either commit to be open the hours the museum is or it needs to be replaced or sublet to a restauranteur who can make a go of it.  Imagine a satellite Armsby Abbey or Lucky's in its place.   When I go to the MFA in Boston I make a day of it, and lunch in the cafeteria, dinner in the cafe and a long visit to the amazing bookstore/giftshop are the highlights for me.

WAM needs to offer the same.  It already has an amazing gift shop that fits an incredible amount of cool items in a tiny space, I'd move it across the way to the interactive gallery to expand its space and bring in more products (yes like books written by faculty).