MA IN SOCIALLY ENGAGED ART
(SHE / HER / HERS)
I consider myself a facilitator, a writer, and a leader, as well as an artist. Although I found art through photography, my professional practice revolves around management and coordination. I view the acts of planning, coordinating, and arranging people in space to be a form of art. I am interested in the social composition of individuals within an environment. I believe in a “good work environment” and I strive to create that for my employees and volunteers. I view this as part of my artistic practice.
Throughout my time at Moore, I have explored the role of ethics within a socially engaged art practice, particularly community-based collaborative art projects. My thesis asked the question: in looking at public art projects and programs in Philadelphia that seek to enact social change, what does it mean to have an ethical practice and how does collaborative participation function in such a practice? I ask this question because I am interested in projects and programs that partner with outside activist or social work organizations to complete work that blurs the lines of art with these other practices; I understand that to do this ethically is vitally important in this age of neoliberalism. I believe that art has the potential to change lives in a myriad of ways, and so should be accessible to all. I am committed to making that happen in an ethical manner.
Utilizing Art to Navigate Public Access: A Panel Discussion facilitated and hosted by MA Graduate Camille O'Connor, and MFA Graduates Sara Kleinert and Chelsey Webber-Brandis.
"This online event addressed ongoing issues of public access in Philadelphia to resources such as transit, healthcare, and the arts and was in direct conversation with people who are working in different ways to overcome real and perceived barriers. Questions focused on the various strategies used by each panelist and their continued or changed relevance during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The panel included Emily Crane, Porch Light Program Administrator, Mural Arts Philadelphia; Charlie Miller, Director of ACCESS, Art-Reach; and Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director, Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation."
This event was designed by and featured graduating students in the Socially Engaged Art program as part of their graduate thesis work: Camille O'Connor MA '20 (moderator), Sara Kleinert MFA '20, and Chelsey Webber-Brandis MFA '20. It was part of the ongoing Conversations@Moore public program series, organized by Moore College of Art & Design's Graduate Studies programs in Socially Engaged Art. The creation of this event came out of the collaboration by the three students who have intersecting areas of work and research in relation to the event’s content.
Originally from Pasadena, California, Camille O’Connor received her BA in Fine Art from UCLA, with an Art History minor. She currently lives in the Greater Philadelphia area and has just received her MA in Socially Engaged Art from Moore College of Art & Design. During her four-year stint at the Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles, she learned archival and registrar work, and has found a passion for art administration in her professional life. She has recently branched out into managerial work through working at People’s Light Theatre. She is a facilitator and an organizer of people. She believes in the art of making things happen, and is happy to be the person who forms creative spaces.