Yvonne K. Widenor, MA
Teaching art history at Canisius for over 18 years has been a wonderfully rewarding experience. I discovered this richly diverse discipline as an undergraduate and was fascinated by its many paths of inquiry. Art history gave me the opportunity to see and experience art, architecture, and history beyond the learning environment of the classroom
Each semester I require my students to explore local museums, art galleries, and architecturally significant spaces. It is my hope that these cultural experiences will touch their hearts and minds as they reflect on past achievements, the present, and imagine what is yet to be created. Moreover, we are able to achieve a heightened sense of a larger world. After all, it is not only my magis but our magis!
While each course contributes to a student’s growth differently, one in particular goes above and beyond. In Art in Buffalo (FAH271), the classroom is replaced with cultural and historical places. Each student is expected to visit and critique local art exhibits and historical collections and ponder architectural achievements.
Art in Buffalo is now an online course. When it was first offered, I guided students through spaces and facilitated encounters with other cultural docents, such as museum curators. We were treated to behind-the-scenes tours as well; one in particular was with the late Russell Pawlak, former president of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation. He graciously led my students through the Central Terminal. His eyes lit up as he shared his knowledge and his hopes for its restoration and reuse. Russell’s passion for that building ignited a spark in every one of us.
As my magis, I proudly see my students developing a cultural conscience and becoming enthusiastic ambassadors of our region’s wondrous artistic and historical collections and world-class architectural legacy.