By Elana Spivack
Few students are more excited about art history and criticism than Scy Krogh ’15 and Amy Young ’16, two art history majors who have joined forces to bring an art journal to campus. These young women unabashedly profess their love not just for art, but for the criticism and historical analysis of it.
Professor of Art History Sarah Blick is their faculty advisor, but the group’s future is in the students’ quite capable hands. While Blick offers support and advice, Krogh and Young have a plethora of their own ideas for this innovative publication. “They came to me to be their faculty adviser … because I’ve edited and published a scholarly art history journal for the past 10 years,” Blick wrote in an email to the Collegian. “They have marvelous ideas, so mostly I’ve just helped them in terms of suggesting reasonable deadlines, structures, etc.”
While this group is not yet officially approved, Krogh and Young are currently in the process of establishing this new journal, which would be presented as an online publication featuring a new post every one or two weeks, with a cumulative hard-copy journal at the end of the year. The founders aim to combine art history and art criticism, making this publication the first of its kind at Kenyon. Krogh and Young plan to call the journal The Glass Lantern, referencing an old-fashioned slide-projector in order to convey a sense of elucidation as well as history.
Krogh and Young feel the journal will fill a void at Kenyon. “There was a dearth of conversation about art on campus,” Krogh said. “There’s so much talk … about drama and music and people engage with those art forms all the time, but even though we have a huge studio art department, … we don’t hear people talking about it,” Krogh said.
Young asserted that art history can be a daunting thing to talk about because of the topic’s breadth. “I felt like [art history] can be a really intimidating thing to jump into,” she said. “To help the conversation but also if people are interested in art and are intimidated and need someplace to start looking, just reading someone’s opinion about it on campus might be a good place to start.”
Sheer love of the topic also drives these students. “Writing about art, at least for me, is one of the most fun kinds of writing, and I wanted to bring that to more people,” Krogh said.
With that passion comes a wealth of new ideas. While the journal is still in early planning stages, the founders have a skeletal idea for it. Each art critique will include an art history essay to give background on specific pieces. Pieces reviewed or critiqued could range from student work on campus to an installation in Columbus or Cleveland. Other potential sections, such as a monthly review of a graphic novel, are also on the table. Young encourages a wide variety of perspectives on art, not just those of art history majors: “Look through whatever lens your major is,” she said. “Political repercussions of street art,” for example.
Some of the greatest challenges the budding group faces are encouraging participation and submissions. They hope to rely on student content for the journal as well as student journalists to act as copy editors, graphic designers, and more.
The Department of Art History has greatly influenced both founder. They spoke highly of all their professors, especially Blick. “She just really has redefined what it means to be excited about something and how that can affect your knowledge,” said Krogh, who is pursuing an Asian studies minor in addition to her art history major because of Blick’s class on Asian Art History. Krogh and Young also cite various blogs, particularly Hyperallergic, a Brooklyn-based web forum for perspectives on art, as inspirations for their own forthcoming journal.
This journal will also provide a niche for interested writers and art lovers. “I’ve always wanted a forum to talk about art on campus and this art history journal offers the perfect opportunity for me,” Rose Bishop ’17, a design editor for the Collegian, said. “There’s a completely different language that you use when you’re talking about art, and you really just need to figure how to articulate that to really make something great.”