ALBANY — What is an artist’s social responsibility? Do artists who make their work public in institutions and galleries across the nation even have a responsibility to deliver inspiration, hope and guidance in their work?
A Facebook Live event exploring those questions, Art & Social Responsibility with Juan Logan, will feature the North Carolina artist and be hosted by AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf. The virtual discussion will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday on the museum’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AlbanyMuseumOfArt.
“It is a rare treat to spend time with artist Juan Logan,” Wulf said. “At this event, he shall share his thoughts on the artist’s social responsibility and the human condition. As he says, the issues we confront today are relevant to us all. We are delighted to welcome him and our Facebook Live guests virtually to the AMA.”
AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said the Facebook Live event will be easy for people to join.
“There are no hoops to jump through,” Vanoteghem said. “You don’t need a password or any special permissions. Just go to the AMA Facebook page at 7 p.m. and join in.”
Those who participate will be able to make comments and ask questions of Logan, whose exhibition “JUAN LOGAN: creating & collecting” is currently showing in the Haley Gallery at the AMA, through the Facebook Live commenting feature. Logan said he will begin with observations and comments, followed by the question-and-answer session with Wulf, including questions posed by the public.
The event will conclude with a group of AMA members joining with Logan and Wulf in the conversation. Vanoteghem said AMA members who want to participate in the final segment may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. “We will have a maximum of 10 members participating in that part,” she said.
Logan’s work addresses American culture as a whole, asking probing questions about that culture, and sharing his awareness of the constructs, injustices and hypocrisies that define the world today. Those are themes that will be part of the Facebook Live conversation on Thursday evening.
“These are things that involve all of us,” Logan said. “Many times when we talk about certain types of issues, we separate them out — these are your issues and these are my issues. The ones that you’re dealing with are not necessarily mine. But they’re all of ours. When I talk about the American experience, it is the American experience, not the Black American experience or the white American experience or the Asian American experience, and so forth.
“I try not to hone in on a particular direction or ethnicity. It’s easy to take it down those kinds of paths rather than saying things that happen in America are impacting all of us, each and every day. The hope is that we will embrace those things and bring about real change because it matters to all of us.”
The online venue enables not only those in southwest Georgia to take part in the discussion, but anyone across the world.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to visit virtually with a nationally known artist,” Vanoteghem said. “This helps the AMA to reach out beyond the boundary of our walls. Wherever you are in the world, you can get together with people you otherwise might never get to meet.”
Logan said online events such as Art & Social Responsibility can help artists and institutions like the Albany Museum of Art reach new audiences.
“That’s great, that whole notion of reaching a very different kind of audience,” Logan said, noting many people are concerned about going out to events. “It gives them an opportunity to see what’s taking place, hear what’s taking place, and to engage with me and the museum director.”
The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive, adjacent to Albany State University’s West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays. Admission is free.