ARH-295 Haitian Art and Visual Culture

The ARH-295 Haitian Art and Visual Culture course was an exploration into how the HADC can relate to pedagogy. Developed and taught by Dr. Petrouchka Moïse and Dr. Fredo Rivera, the course curriculum provided an in-depth survey of Haitian art and visual culture through engagement with the collection of Haitian art in the Waterloo Center for the Arts. Beginning with a consideration of the Haitian revolution and its legacy and ending with an examination of contemporary Haitian art throughout the diaspora, students gained an understanding of Haitian art and history. The course considered the impact of the arts and artists in Haiti in specific cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts; culminating in a final digital curatorial project. The students’ projects built on current Haitian art historical scholarship and the theoretical and historical concepts taught in the course to offer new perspectives.

Each project is a digital exhibition, created and curated by students. The students broke off into pairs and worked together with their partners to find a theme to explore based on their experience in the course. Their studies outside of the course informed the direction the students took their inquiry. The resulting theses, exhibitions, and writings drew from the course, visits to the Waterloo Center for the Arts, discussions surrounding curation and digital scholarship, as well as the students’ individual academic interests. Students began their research process with a class session dedicated to exhibiting Haitian art today, examining contemporary exhibition catalogs. From there, each group developed a tentative thesis and a list of objects to pull from the WCA vaults to use for their digital exhibitions. Soon after, the class went on their second field trip to the WCA, where the students were able to closely observe the objects they had requested and document them for their exhibitions. As the semester continued, each group continued to refine their projects, producing a digital exhibition and a collection of writings. We are proud to show you the digital exhibitions from the course.