Art provides a lens for studying war, and war provides a theme for studying art.

In her presentation to Weiss’ class, Yavorska-Antrobius touched on important points and figures in Ukrainian history to explain that the issues behind the war have existed for centuries. She also showed current artwork illustrating and dealing with the invasion, such as photos, posters and cartoons that anonymous artists surreptitiously make and share in war-torn areas and on social media.

Weiss, director-curator of the art department’s Visual Resource Center, is teaching summer seminar to 10 students, most of whom have never taken art history classes before, he said. declared.

Weiss, who is also an artist and illustrator, has traveled the history of art in Western civilization, beginning with European cave paintings. Focusing on a theme and seeing how it is represented over time helps students gain access to the world of art, he said.

Incoming freshman Faith Leslie, from Louisa, discovered the course through the Hoos Getting Ready summer program. “I took this course to venture out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know much about art, so I thought this class would be a fun opportunity to learn something new,” she said.

Leslie found Yavorska-Antrobius’ presentation “really revealing.” I think sometimes people tend to separate themselves from violence and wars that don’t affect them immediately, but seeing images and art from the war in Ukraine made it so much more real and devastating.

Yavorska-Antrobius’ July 26 presentation fits perfectly into the course content, Weiss said. “It ended up being a great introduction to what was to come, when we start to see more and more of the art of war as expressed by the victims.

“From the very beginning, however, we talked about how we portray the intangible. For example, what does horror look like? What does Honor, Terror, Domination and Leadership look like?

“If art is meant to evoke something – why and how did it happen, what did the artist do to horrify you?”

The beginning of the course covered art analysis terms right away, so students could apply them as soon as possible, he said. He encourages them to “move past how you feel,” he said after a recent class — a process that can be applied to college classes in general, not just his class.

“They need to know why – as a way to present their ideas and mastery with confidence and clarity. That’s why the formal elements are so important, because they give you the terminology to explain why something may have evoked an emotion in you.

One of the first days it used the familiar film format, showing the first 10 minutes of the 1987 film, “Full Metal Jacket.” It shows the dehumanization of war through training in U.S. Marine Corps recruit boot camp, from head shaving to the drill instructor’s acceptance of shouting obscenities and spitting them. reprimand.

Weiss asked them, “What did we watch?” He said their first response was “basic training”.

Then he asked, “OK, what did we just see?” Talk about what you see and how things are presented visually. This included things like the drill instructor pointing his finger at recruits similar to Uncle Sam’s recruiting poster and all the hair piling up on the floor after the young men shaved their heads.