Artist To Use Facebook To Teach Art History
What started with a father and an unhappy teenager on a Halloween night has turned into a mission for art teacher, Paul Olson.
“My daughter was very interested in the paintings of Roy Lichtenstein,” said Olson. “So she wanted that to be her costume for the Halloween Dance. I did her make-up for her and she was thrilled with how it turned out. When I picked her up after the party, I asked her how it went and she said that no one knew what her costume was and why she had red dots all over her face. None of them had ever heard of Roy Lichtenstein! To make matters worse, when I mentioned it to my friends – they were just as mystified! I said to myself, ‘Why doesn’t anyone know anything about great art?’”
Olson had just started a Facebook page to promote his art classes and his artwork and realized that he had created a tool that could accomplish more. He wanted to add some art history aspects to his social media presence.
“I decided to start featuring the work of one painter every week. Of course, my first move was to do a search to find out if anyone was already doing it and I found, much to my surprise, that no one was. What I did find was the same Dead White Guy adoration that I found so tedious when I was in college. The usual suspects – Van Gogh, Picasso, Da Vinci. I decided to mix things up a bit.”
Olson says that he has 3 rules for selecting his Featured Artist of the Week:
– Mostly artists of color, artists with disabilities, or artists from countries other than Europe and the United States.
– At least one-third living artists.
– More than half women artists.
“My goal in this is to connect people to artists that they’ve probably never heard of and see a diversity of styles of art. I want this to be educational, inspirational, and fun. Not just standard art history.”
Olson picks an artist for the week and puts up web page links, links to the artist’s online store (if any) and then features pictures of a couple of the artist’s notable paintings with some facts from the artist’s biography at different times through the week.
“My definition of success for this project is if every week one of the readers notices some artist they’ve never heard of and researches that artist further.”
Paul Olson’s “Featured Artist of the Week” can be seen by liking “Paul Olson – Artist” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paulolsonart/
Photo Cutline: The face that started a mission – Paul’s Daughter, Ericka, heading out for a Halloween dance dressed as a woman from a Roy Lichtenstein painting.
Address: 623 E. Michigan St., Ishpeming, MI 49849