Focusing on the process of learning to become an artist, both in informal and institutionalised settings, this panel will critically discuss the oft taken for granted assumptions involved in what it means to be and become an artist.
Recent examinations of art and anthropology have been interested in understanding the relational association between artists and the public, specifically through the media and materiality of the art produced. Focusing instead on the process of learning to become an artist, both in informal and institutionalised settings, we aim to critically discuss the oft taken for granted assumptions involved in what it means to be and become an artist. This panel, then, is interested in understanding how recent studies on the social role of art, creativity, and labour, as well as commodification of art in late socialism and late capitalism, problematize the social and pedagogical process of becoming an artist. We encourage contributions from a wide range of ethnographic settings, including, but not limited to, the world of fine artists, designers, woodcarvers, fiction writers, craftspeople, musicians, poets, and performers. Questions we encourage contributors to explore include: What processes are involved in becoming an artist? What is the pedagogical approach when learning to become artists? What are the complications of different forms of learning on the meaning of the role of the artist? What role do expectations of consumption and external recognition play in shaping the role and performance involved in becoming and being considered an artist? How is creativity present, conceptualized and understood in different pedagogical settings? What differences and similarities can be identified across ethnographic contexts?