The Corner


College Progressives Are also Dragging Down the Fine Arts

With their incessant efforts at politicizing everything, college progressives have ruined much of the curriculum and as artist Richard Bledsoe argues in this Martin Center article, that includes the fine arts.

He first realized that political correctness had intruded when, as a student, he found that the jurors for an art show favored only those pieces that had a “message.” The result was a mostly empty exhibition, but one that satisfied the leftists who were in control. Those jurors, Bledsoe writes, “had imposed an unexpected criterion on what was understood to be a generalized survey of the arts program, a criterion that excluded the majority of the student body. So most of the undergrads did not get to participate in their own student art show that year, regardless of the quality of their art.”

The message delivered to the students: If you want to get ahead, make sure your art makes the right sort of political statement.

Bledsoe has been out of school for many years and finds that the push for political correctness has only gotten worse. “Elite academic institutions,” he writes, “are signaling that prestige, opportunities, and funding will flow toward those who are agitating for leftist political change. Similar initiatives are taking place in MFA programs at the California College of the Arts, Portland State University, and Otis College of Art and Design. The latest buzzwords, ‘social practice art,’ are just another way of describing activism that pretends to be art.”

This is a shame, but it’s what leftists do whenever and wherever they have power.

Bledsoe concludes,

To the postmodern ideologues who now control art education, nothing can be exempted from the push toward dreary, covetous collectivism. And if that means art loses its purpose, its role in society, and its legitimacy, so be it.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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