Rika Burnham of The Frick Collection speaks on the link between viewers and art
Rika Burnham, head of education at The Frick Collection in New York and project director for Teaching Institute for Museum Educators at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, presents “The Dreamer Position,” a lecture on the experience of meaningful encounters between viewers and works of art. Burnham explores what occurs in the moment when the viewer becomes an active participant in the experience and the artwork comes alive. “We seek the transformative rather than the prescriptive and the formulaic,” she writes. “We seek the intense encounter with a single object rather than a casual glance at a hundred artworks. And finally, we seek experience and risk. Sometimes encounters are negotiated through our words, sometimes through our dreams.” Her talk is part of SITE Santa Fe’s annual Innovative Thinker Lecture series and is sponsored by the Gale Family Foundation. The annual lecture was established in honor of Juliet Myers, former SITE director of education, and highlights the achievements of visionary educators working in contemporary art. Burham holds a degree in art history from Harvard University and received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her book Teaching in the Art Museum: Interpretation
published in 2011 by the J. Paul Getty Museum and coauthored with Elliott Kai-Kee, won a PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers.
The lecture takes place at Santa Fe Performing Arts’ Armory for the Arts Theater (1050 Old Pecos Trail) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4. Tickets are $10 (free for students and seniors) and are available at the door or online at www.sitesantafe.org. Call SITE Santa Fe at 505-989-1199. — Michael Abatemarco