Alternatives – D0426

Date: Jul 02 - 02, 2016

Skill Level(s): Open to All i

Instructor(s): Enrique Martínez Celaya

Tuition: $150
Studio Fee: $0
Registration Fee: $0

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM


It is always the right time to explore alternative ways of understanding art and its role, but maybe our time is especially right. We are living in a period when the relevance of art is often measured through trends in art fairs and auctions houses, and when art reflects rather than challenges established values and the hegemony of consecrated institutions and power structures.

During this one-day workshop, we discuss how we ended up where we are, and what are good—but maybe not often heard—alternatives to dead-end tenets in the art world.

The workshop is open to everyone and it has no requirements other than interest. Artists, teachers, administrators, collectors, writers, art enthusiasts, wallflowers, and bear trackers are all welcome. In addition to the presentations, there will be discussion and a short writing exercise. You might consider signing up if you think the following questions are relevant:

  • What is meant by alternative? Alternative to what?
  • Are you moved, maybe even transformed, by great works of art? Can you still remember a time when you were moved by them?
  • What is quality? Can you distinguish it from other indicators, such as status, power, charm and familiarity?
  • Can any of us tell the difference between pretending to know and knowing? Between lying and being earnest?
  • Do you think an artistic practice could evolve into something other than a factory?
  • Would you like an art collection to be more than an assembly of status markers?
  • Do you think a museum should aspire to something more than currency, popularity and good cafes?
  • Are confusion, narcissism, cynicism and greed conditions specific to the art world or reflections of society at large?
  • Are you as skeptical of art magazines as you are of claims by fetishists and spiritualists?


It would be useful, though not required, for participants to read On Art and Mindfulness prior to attending the workshop. The book can be purchased online or at the Anderson Ranch bookstore.


We alternate between lectures, group discussion, and a short writing exercise.


Enrique Martínez Celaya was trained as an artist as well as a physicist. His work has been exhibited internationally and is included in many public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum der bildenden Kunste in Leipzig, Germany. He taught as a tenured professor in the faculty of Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University, and was honored as the second Presidential Professor in the history of the University of Nebraska. He is a Trustee of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, as well as a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College.

The Invisible (or the Power of Forbearance) (detail), 2015

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