Seniors Select

In 2010-11 the Department of Art and Art History inaugurated the “Seniors Select” project, giving the members of the class of 2011 the opportunity to choose and purchase a work of art for Agnes Scott’s permanent collection.

This year we focused our efforts on the Art Papers auction, the annual fundraiser for the Atlanta-based art journal.  The seniors researched and considered in advance the works in the auction and presented their preferences to the group, making arguments about the strengths of individual works and their significance as teaching tools for departmental faculty and students.  Although they arrived at list of options, once at the auction and able to scrutinize works directly, the seniors quickly and collectively decided to pursue this print by Jennifer Mack, which was not on their original list.  While they were outbid the night of the auction, they were able to purchase another version of the same print directly from the artist and to make a donation to Art Papers.

This project was an extraordinary process of experiential learning.  It allowed the seniors to summon and enact their acquired knowledge and skills in multiple ways, with a new relevance and direct impact. The Department of Art and Art History is thrilled to have acquired this work through their efforts and in their honor.

How do we decide that a work of art adds to value to the Agnes Scott College permanent collection?

Questions We Ask 

  • Departmental Mission: Does the work fit into the Department of Art and Art History’s art teaching goals? Does it “speak strongly to the process of creativity, rather than the product”?

How does this piece:

  • Achieve formal unity through specific elements and principles of design?
  • Reflect characteristics of its historical period and/or stylistic movement?
  • Relate to other pieces in the artist’s career?
  • Demonstrate overall unity by integrating the composition and content?
  • Liberal Arts Connection: Does the work touch on liberal arts concepts such as history, science, religion, etc.? Does it speak to the intellectual and social challenges of our time?
  • Intellectual Rigor: Does it challenge the way we think about art?
  • Complexity: Does the work speak on multiple levels? For example, is it limited in subject matter, materials and meaning, or is it open-ended, generative and expansive?
  • Quality and flexibility: Does the artwork have an aesthetic longevity? Is it trendy or timeless? Will it continue to live and evolve as we do?
  • Materials: Will the medium broaden the range of pedagogical techniques and technologies represented in the collection?
  • Maintenance: Considering the material and size can we house and maintain the work?