About the program
ARTiculate is a philosophy and art exhibit serving as a final project for NAU students in Dr. Matthew Goodwin's PHI 355: Philosophy and Art course. Philosophers too often discuss the nature of art and beauty as passive and
disinterested observers without understanding the challenges of producing
something beautiful, meaningful, and interesting for the scrutiny of strangers.
In this class students first discuss theories of art and beauty and then
undertake the creative process themselves. They share their works with the
community and then reflect on how this experience changes their understanding
In Spring of 2011, the inaugural year of this project, the
exhibit was hosted by Flagstaff Bicycle Revolution. Students from a wide
variety of disciplines in addition to philosophy were instructed to work all
semester on a philosophical idea that they could develop through art. The
variety and depth of ideas they chose were impressive, exploring such themes as
death, time, happiness, religion, politics, and ethics. Approximately one
hundred visitors from the northern Arizona community enjoyed the vivid displays
and shared meaningful conversations while mingling with the
artist/philosophers. That evening, the hard work of philosophy was put on full
display in a fun, accessible, and relevant way for all to share and enjoy.
Since then we have co-hosted student symposiums for every class. With each event, the program has attracted more students, artists, and art aficionados to articulate and appreciate the world through art.
Testimonials from Philosophy and Art students
“ARTiculate used art pieces to expose the human experience and share it with the community. Being shut into the world of math and science, with structure and systems used for every explanation, I had forgotten how much I value sharing the human experience without the need to critically analyze or argue, but instead just respond. Reflection on the art, the artists’ descriptions of their art, and especially a conversation I had with one of the artists reminded me of why I am passionate about health science. Being given context with our medical ethics class this semester, I was reminded that night that—while the knowledge in the vast field of science itself has caught my recent attention—it is in working with people to better our current condition that drives me to pursue science.”--Sarah Tang
“Overall, it was fascinating to see the ideas that these philosophy students came up with. They all went after a project in order to make certain themes found in our society more clear.” --Rhianna Newhall