- The Corning Museum of Glass opens in New York. Teachers were able to
take their students to the museum to observe glass pieces. Visitors are
also shown glass blowing demonstrations, something very few high schools
have the facilities to teach on their own.
- MTV aired its first music video on national television. This had a
huge impact on the visual culture and popular culture. MTV not only
surpassed, and replaced the ever-popular radio; it change the music
industry by showing the emotions of the artists with their work. MTV
introduced and continues to make the world aware of a wide variety of
music genres, social problems, political issues, racial relations, and
- The National
Museum of Women in the Arts is a private, non-profit museum in
Washington D.C., incorporated in December. It brings recognition to the
achievements of women artists of all periods and nationalities. They
were exhibited, preserved, acquired, and researched by women, and by
educating the public concerning their accomplishments. The museum offers
a wide variety of education programs for children, teens, adults, and
teachers. Designed around three themes--Discovering Women Artists, Women
in Performance, and Women and Creativity--the public programs expand
knowledge of women artists.
- Between 1981 and 1984 Steve Kahn had a number of galleries, and
museum shows of his work in Europe. Sometimes Kahn traveled abroad to
install a show or have a workshop. Kahn took a lot of trains, and while
in motions, made photographs of the moving landscape. He had a little
35MM Minx camera. Kahn didn't bother looking into the viewfinder. With
images coming at him so quickly, there was no time to frame anything.
There was just time to decide whether or not the approaching image was,
indeed, worth capturing.
- The Joy of Painting television series, starring Bob Ross, first episode was aired in
1983. During the show, the soft-spoken Ross taught his audience an easy
technique of painting that included how to make "happy" clouds and
"happy" little trees. Although, these paintings were not considered
outstanding artistic creations they did inspire people who were
reluctant to pick up a paintbrush. Now, this series is brodcasted around
the globe. Unfortunetaly, Bob Ross died in 1995.
- Crayola created an art education program for elementary school
students called DREAM-MAKERS.
It is an Internet site that teachers can go to in order to find lesson
plans, and ideas for creative projects. They can even print out letters
to send home to the parents of students explaining the importance of art
education. Some of the ideas expressed by the program are the importance
of creativity by students, the great value of visual education, and the
importance of exhibiting student work. It is no surprise then, that they
also sponsor a variety of exhibitions in the United States each year.
- The AIDS virus is discovered, as a virus of primarily gay men. This
discovery has an impact on the personal lives,and the careers of many
Haring and David Wojnarowicz were two artist who were diagnosed with
AIDS. Thet both spendt much of their careers in a creative response to
the AIDS crisis. They viewed their art as an activist statement
promoting societial awareness to the polictical, health, and cultural
problems associated with the virus. Haring was part of the graffiti art
movement. His work can be seen today in the form of posters, greeting
cards, and t-shirts. Wojnarowicz also did street graffiti, as well as
performance pieces, and media installations in urban areas. Both Haring
and Wojnarowicz died from the virus in the 1990's.
- The groundbreaking comic book series Watchmen is released.
Using literary elements such as foreshadowing, multilayered meanings and
touching character development, this series proved that comics had the
ability to be more than simply commercial products geared toward
children. The series is so well regarded and admired that it is studied
at countless universities (including Penn State) around the country.
- Pop artist Andy
Warhol, died at age 58 after being admitted to New York Hospital for
a routine gall bladder operation. Warhal transformed contemporary art.
He juxtaposed upbeat icons of consumers society with images of death and
disasion. Warhall used his mass production techniques to challenge
preconcieved notions about the nature of art.
- Comic Books are first aided by computers. Marvel Comics releases
"the state of the art" comic book series Shatter. Today, most
mainstream comics are colored on computer. In fact, some artists render
their pages in pencil, and then feed them into a computer which inks,
colors and letters them.
- Andre Serano creates his most well known piece Piss Christ.
This piece causes great controversy and is used as an arguing point
against the National Endowment for the Arts.
- After Andres Serrano's exhibition of Piss Christ, the U.S. National Endowment of
the Arts was attacked by conservative politians, by commentator
Patrick Buchanan and the Reverend Donald Wildman. The attack was
initiated by Rev. Wildman who accused the NEA of using taxpayers' money
in a wasteful manner. The American Family Association, of which Wildman
was president, lobbied for Congress to approve a new regulation for the
NEA so that it "shall clearly indicate that obscenity is without
artistic merit, is not protected speech, and shall not be funded."