ArtParlor is not a new café on Chapel Street, nor is it one of the paint-on-pottery places that we loved to visit as children. ArtParlor, or rather www.yale.edu/artparlor, is a new Web site that is working to create a community for artists and art enthusiasts both online and on campus.
The Web site, which will be completed some time next week, will include everything you might need if you happen to be an aspiring art student or art lover. A list of weekly arts-related events, a forum for discussion, and links to Yale University museums and libraries and every major museum and gallery within a train ride of New Haven are available on the brightly colored and thoughtfully composed site (the designer of the page is, after all, an art major).
The directors of ArtParlor are Noa Kaplan-Sears ’09, Danielle McDonnough ’09, David Muenzer ’09 (all art majors) and Elyse Nelson ’09, Emma Kronman ’09 and Diana Mellon ’09 (all history of art majors). While each of the directors compiled and wrote entries for the site, Kaplan-Sears and McDonnough created the Web site itself, with McDonnough doing all of the design work.
Kaplan-Sears said she was inspired to create the Web site after she switched from the humanities major to the art major last year, and was confronted by the overwhelming number of resources available to School of Art undergraduates.
“Part of the struggle with switching majors was that I really had no idea what was going on,” she said. “As I began to do research, I wanted to share the information with others.”
Nelson too spoke of her interest in creating an open dialogue within the arts community.
“I have developed an interest in how I can be a voice for art beyond the museum walls,” Nelson, who has worked extensively with the Yale University Art Gallery, said in an e-mail Wednesday. “The Web site is a first step toward fostering a closer artistic community in that it provides access to information about the different sectors of art at Yale.”
The highlight of ArtParlor is the Forum, an online museum and discussion board where students can post their own art and writing, browse other students’ work, or respond to pieces on display in the University’s galleries. This super-chatroom is not for art students alone, but rather for anyone in the Yale community interested in talking and learning about art. It is the ultimate incarnation of the directors’ hope for an all-encompassing community of artists.
“The Web site gives people access to things not by department but by virtue of the fact that they’re in the arts,” Muenzer said. “Theater, visual art, production, photo, performance. We were really trying to bridge the gap and create a place where you can get all the information.”
One of the group’s unofficial faculty advisors (“I’m more of a confidante, really”) is George Rush, a professor in the School of Art.
“Being an artist and a faculty member in the School of Art, I think anything that has to do with the general art community is good,” he said. “Also, any time the students make something happen on their own, it’s really exciting.”
Rush has been an invaluable resource for ArtParlor’s other project: a symposium at the Yale University Art Gallery that will occur on Thursday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. The panel will discuss collaboration in the arts and the influence of Black Mountain College, an experimental liberal arts institution in North Carolina, from 1933 to 1956. The guest speakers will include Brenda Danilowitz, chief curator of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Jenni Sorkin, Yale Ph.D. candidate in the history of art and Vincent Katz, New York-based author and art critic.
Clinton Jukkala, the DUS in the Art Department, Sarah Oppenheimer, a Yale faculty member and critic in painting and printmaking, and Samuel Messer, associate dean of the School of Art, have also been supportive of the group, Kaplan-Sears said.
For now, the founders of ArtParlor are excited to get the Web site up and running and to see how the community will respond.
“The more people that submit and talk in the forum, the stronger it will become,” Kaplan-Sears said. “We’re really excited to see everyone’s work.”