What is STUDY28?
It’s an informal tutorial and exercise in art appreciation; a beginner’s attempt at making sense of contemporary art.
From paintings to installations, much of what covers the walls and fills the halls of today’s galleries inspires questions in beginners: Why these works and not others? What makes them special? Who decides and how?
Finding clear answers to these questions can be challenging. Art reviews and essays, although plentiful, tend to be too advanced for novice art enthusiasts, leaving us either more confused or asking, “How do they know that?” A number of excellent art history websites provide abundance of information, but they are, well, mostly about art history.
So, here comes STUDY28, a website where answers to questions about contemporary art are front and centre, and, delivered with beginners in mind.
“PEOPLE NEED NOT LIKE CREATIVE ART. IT IS NOT A SIN IF THEY DON'T, BUT THEY LOSE AN AWFUL LOT OF JOY OUT OF LIFE BY NOT TRYING TO UNDERSTAND IT. IT OPENS UP A NEW WORLD FOR THOSE WHO SEEK TO UNDERSTAND IT.”Emily Carr, Fresh Seeing
How does it work?
At STUDY28 we skip intro to art history and jump right into art: the art exhibited in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and nearby communities. We ask artists, curators, instructors and critics to select works from upcoming exhibitions and answer beginner questions about these pieces. We assemble their answers into bite-size, easy-to-digest write-ups and post them in the Up Close section up to a week before the start of an exhibition, leaving the whole duration of the show for our readers to visit the gallery and apply what they’ve learned to other works in the exhibition. Art history will find its way in, as needed, step-by-step.
Other useful things you can find here include: our attempts at art analysis and exhibition reviews; a blog with art-related thoughts and observations; and resources such as an index of art terms and names mentioned in our posts, local gallery and exhibition listings, art headlines and other useful links.
“THE DISCOVERY OF SOMETHING REMARKABLE IN A PERSON, EXPERIENCE, OR THING THAT INITIALLY PUT YOU OFF IS WHERE A MORE FULFILLING LIFE BEGINS.”Maxwell L. Anderson, The Quality Instinct
What’s in the name?
In art a “study” is a practice piece (a sketch, a drawing or a quick painting) of a part or the whole finished work. In the context of this website, a study is an analogy for our approach to learning art appreciation. Instead of long lectures and analyses, we opt for quick studies of key features of the works presented here.
The number “28” is a reference to two paintings titled Number 28, one by Morris Louis (1912-1962) and the other by Jackson Pollock (1912–1956). These works exemplify the modern and contemporary works of art that inspire comments such as, “A child could do it.” Our goal is to help develop understanding and appreciation of such works.
The person behind STUDY28
The creative mind and principal writer behind STUDY28 is a novice art enthusiast Violette Stepaniuk. Her desire to deepen her own art appreciation skills led her to utilize her journalism and communications skills to create a website that will help her and others see and understand art, and enjoy and benefit from Ottawa’s rich visual arts scene.