Hetherington lectures at One Day conferences

Kiara Royer, Staff Writer

This fall, Chair of the Visual Arts Department Dr. Anna Hetherington has been speaking about art history topics such as the Renaissance or modern art at One Day University, one day educational events across the country.

According to its website, One Day University “brings together professors from the finest universities in the country to present special versions of their very best lectures” to educate and entertain students of all ages for one day.

Hetherington has recently attended several One Day University’s events, including one in Denver Colorado, and will speak in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, Florida this upcoming weekend on modern and contemporary art.

As many people don’t have the privilege of taking an art history or visual literacy class in school or college, Hetherington believes it is incredibly important to give these talks, she said.

At such events, Hetherington aims to provide an art history seminar for intellectually curious people who want to listen to art history discussions, she said.

“For me personally, the content is less crucial than getting people to look closely at art and making them feel comfortable in a highly visual world,” she said. “This means that they can have more fun at a museum but might also notice how advertisements or newspaper covers manipulate their understanding of the world,” she said.

Hetherington has lectured on subjects varying from Michelangelo to modern art. Although her doctorate is in Renaissance art, Hetherington enjoys giving modern art lectures, as she feels as though she’s exploring the subject together with her audience, Hetherington said.

For her upcoming talks, Hetherington’s friend and art historian Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan shared her lectures with Hetherington, but typically Hetherington creates her own presentations, she said.

Hetherington tweaks these presentations to make them her own, she said.

For example, before each talk Hetherington runs through each keynote and finds places where she can insert moments of humor, as the performance is just as important as the subject, she said.

“These are not academic conferences for scholars, but rather introductory lectures for a general audience,” she said.

While Hetherington does not attend many One Day events, she does not give up any time during the week to attend, she said.

“I could not do them every weekend, nor am I asked to. However, even in three talks, if I reach about 1200 people, that feels worthwhile to me,” Hetherington said.

“She’s one of the smartest people I get to work with and her students adore her,” Art History Teacher Avram Schlesinger said.

Chloe Kim (11), who is in Hetherington’s homeroom, has taken Hetherington’s Introduction to Contemporary Art History and Introduction to Renaissance Art History classes and is currently in Hetherington’s AP Art History class this year.

“She’s a really good speaker because she’s so charismatic, and she’s one of those people who knows little tidbits of information about a range of topics so if you ask her about anything art history or not art history related she’ll usually know some little piece of information about it,” Kim said.

“I absolutely could not even imagine doing any of these talks without having experience as a teacher,” Hetherington said. “I continue to learn so much from my students, like what works, what doesn’t work, what’s super obvious, and what needs a bit more of an explanation,” she said.

Ultimately, Hetherington attends One Day University events as they are fun additional weekend functions, she said.

“My real interest and passion is in the interactive classroom I have at Horace Mann, with students who can go on and be engaged viewers with the world,” she said.