Committee on Visual Art: New name, new status
The Committee on Art & Design has been reborn as the Committee on the Visual Arts (COVA). More than a name change, the switch signals that the committee is now an autonomous unit with its own chair.
"The new name better reflects what we do," said Charles Cohen, Professor in Art History and Chair of COVA. "Before, when we had 'design' in our name, people outside the University community thought we did work in industrial design or decorative work, neither of which we do at all. COVA is a better reflection of our commitment to making art and thinking about art."
A group of faculty members who are artists at Midway Studios forms the core of COVA, but committee members also include philosophers, anthropologists and art historians.
"What makes our committee different than a lot of other committees is that COVA is the primary appointment of many of our faculty members. Also, although the graduate degree we offer is the Master of Fine Arts, that is the highest degree one can obtain in this field," Cohen said.
Cohen also pointed out that there is likely to be a higher degree of interaction between the Art History Department and COVA now that COVA is autonomous.
"Previously, it was just assumed that COVA and Art History would interact. Now we need to work on it," Cohen said. "But, after all, I'm an art historian, so I expect it will happen. In the long run, I believe this will lead to a greater connection."
The two units have already collaborated on projects, such as "mid-way," an exhibition of M.F.A. work at the Law School, which was curated by two students in Art History.
An opening reception is being held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today, Feb. 20, at the Law School, and several special events are being held in conjunction with the exhibition. For more information, see the Calendar, pages 6-7.