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A Response from Flavia Bastos

Video Transcript

Flávia Bastos, Ph.D. is Distinguished Research Professor of Art Education in the School of Art, in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati. Her research and scholarship are indebted to her Brazilian roots and committed to social justice.

Her current research project “Who is American Today?” investigates the relationship between creativity and democracy by promoting critical digital citizenship with high school students around the country. Flávia is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association, the chairperson for the Council of Policy Studies in Art Education, and former Director of the Higher Education Division of the National Art Education Association.

She received the 2009 Ziegfeld Award of the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA) for her distinguished service in international art education and the Mary J. House Award of the National Art Education Association Women’s Caucus in 2007. She is past senior editor of the Journal of Art Education and has published and lectured extensively in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Spain, and Portugal.

Her books include Transforming City Schools through Art: Approaches to Meaningful K-12 Learning, a co-edited volume published by Teachers College Press (2012), and the anthology Connecting Creativity Research and Practice in Art Education: Foundations, Pedagogies, and Contemporary Issues (2014) released by the National Art Education Association.

Label text, Cincinnati Art Museum

mixed media, including sports jerseys

This mural-sized quilt is a dialogue with Pablo Picasso's monumental 1937 painting, Guernica. Named after a Basque town bombed by Nazi forces, Picasso’s Guernica is regarded as an important artistic statement about the horrors of war. At nearly the same scale as Picasso's canvas, the quilt reminds us that combative team sports are proxies for armed conflict. Thomas also draws attention to the role modern gladiators can play as voices for social justice: "[athletes] are not supposed to be political. They're supposed to do their job. They don't get paid for speaking. If [Muhammad] Ali, if Jim Brown, if Paul Robeson hadn't spoken, what would the world look like?"

By engaging with European artists—such as Picasso and Matisse—who participated in the early twentieth-century modernist appropriation of African art, Thomas links the politics of sports and war with the politics of art and art history. "It’s not a coincidence that [Picasso’s] work and the work of other modern artists changed dramatically right around the time that Europe started to explore and colonize Africa,” he notes.

Note: Label texts originated at the Portland Art Museum and were modified by venue project teams at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Cincinnati Art Museum.