Jon Kay is director of Traditional Arts Indiana, a partnership between IU Bloomington and the Indiana Arts Commission housed at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. He created a class entitled “Work is Art” and taught it for the first time this fall as part of IU Bloomington’s Themester, themed “@Work: The Nature of Labor on a Changing Planet.”
“The premise is that each occupation has its own expressive form and its own art,” Kay said.
The class talked about a range of occupations in the United States; rather than looking at these professions from a historical or geographic point of view, though, they looked at them as works of art. Students viewed art exhibitions, interviewed folk artists, watched documentaries, and listened to albums from the Library of Congress.