Students in the Samek
Teaching a Principles of Economics class in an art gallery may seem surprising. But Stephen Stamos, professor of international relations, saw the Samek Art Gallery exhibit, “Of Rage and Redemption: The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamin,” as a way to help students connect with the class’ subject matter: Karl Marx and socialism. “While you can study economics, politics and sociology, arts and poetry all become part of what you’re talking about,” says Stamos. “This was a way to take our class-based analysis and make it real and let them react to the images. It provided a wonderful opportunity to do a kind of integrative education.”
After visiting the exhibit with Stamos, students were asked to write an essay about their reactions to the artwork as it related to their studies. “It’s great as a student to be able to access the material in ways other than through lectures or textbooks,” says Casey Bryant ’09. “This will definitely encourage me to take other opportunities to seek out artwork as a way to supplement my classroom learning.”
The University’s breadth of cultural offerings provide many opportunities for students to connect their learning to other experiences, whether they are studying engineering, science or any other discipline. They can take direct one-act plays in theatre, meet with visiting writers to discuss the creative process through the Stadler Center for Poetry, become an intern with West Branch (a twice-yearly literature journal) or work on the video Podsquad, among many other hands-on creative education outlets.
“Of Rage and Redemption: The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamin” remains at The Samek Art Gallery through March 27 as part of Bucknell University’s year-long series, “Peace & Resistance.” It is the first exhibit of its kind in the United States in more than 50 years.
Visual Economics: bringing the classroom to the Samek Art Gallery