The Colgate Scene
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People on the go
Dan Wald '82
Bringing art to the Web|
Dan Wald '82 is helping to pull the art market out of the 18th century, and art buyers into a fascinating new way to find and make purchases. He's vice president of marketing for artnet.com, an online company that's "opening up the art market so more people can experience the thrill of buying art."
The artnet.com site, established in 1996, allows Internet users to view images of works for sale, place bids in auctions, and research price and sale information.
"In many ways, the art market is still back in the 1700s and is only now starting to embrace the web," remarked Wald. While areas like the stock market welcomed the Internet revolution, the art world has been fairly resistant. Rarely do art dealers advertise prices; sometimes they will not even quote a price if they're not convinced they have a genuine buyer. The artnet.com site, however, not only includes exhibitions, inventory from nearly 800 galleries and artists, a magazine, and auctions of fine art, but also lists historic price information.
"We compiled a database of two million works with their complete price histories. People can purchase confidently knowing the comparative value of a piece," Wald explained. He works with a staff of more than 100 that includes some of the nation's most highly trained art dealers, curators, art experts and auction specialists.
Rather than formal training in art or art history ("People from Colgate would best remember me for my efforts in theater"), Wald brought to artnet.com his strong background in web marketing.
He has an MBA in marketing from the University of Chicago, has worked for agencies as well as on the client side, "and, I was bitten by the web bug as soon as it happened." Before joining artnet.com earlier this year, Wald handled accounts such as Toys R Us, GTE and Sears for the Top 10 sales promotion agency Einson Freeman Inc., and prior to that he created the strategic vision for barnesandnoble.com, the books and media giant's fully transactional website, as director of new media.
Wald lives in northern New Jersey with his wife Lisa and their two children Jason, 6, and Haley, 4. He still spends time pursuing his passion for theatrical writing.
"Although I majored in economics, I was able to explore my creative side with theater. I learned how to present myself and how to work with people. I came out very balanced." Wald said his creativity, nurtured at Colgate, is an essential skill for a web-based business.
"You're making decisions on situations for which there is no precedent," remarked Wald. "It's an amazing intellectual challenge every day." RAC
Students heard critiques of sculpture projects that showed up in various campus locations.
Walking into the Eric Ryan Studio Center sculpture room at the beginning of this semester, Amanda Wojick '95 felt a rush.
Speaking as part of the department of art and art history's Visiting Lecture Series, she felt a validation.
Wojick had attended those lectures as a student and she had worked in the sculpture room. Now she is back at Colgate, as an artist and teacher. Standing at the podium in Persson Hall talking about her work, she felt like an artist. Standing with students in Ryan, she is a teacher.
"I love teaching," said Wojick, who is filling in this year for Daniella Dooling, who is on leave. "It's such an intense sensation. Now I really understand the students, though I thought I did when I was one."
Wojick has a better understanding of her former professors, too.
"They have been supportive and energetic and I see them now not just as teachers but as workers, too. As a student you are in your own movie. As you get older you begin to see how large everything is.
"As a student you have a choice to be active or passive. As a teacher you don't have that option. It's 200 percent active. It's exhausting."
For her first two years after graduation, Wojick was involved helping Rob Cohen '94 create Stella's, a café, bar and, according to stellabar.com, the "home of casual swank," in Ithaca. She then began pursuing two masters of fine arts, at Alfred University and Bard. In addition to her work in sculpture, Wojick was able to teach at Alfred, an experience that prepared her for the Colgate opportunity.
"My goal as a teacher has a lot to do with dialogue and teaching students to ask good questions. I want students to find their own way and build on their strengths rather than pull them in a direction that is opposite what their nature tells them."
Teaching has had an impact on Wojick's work.
"With students I'm speaking about the fundamentals of form. When I go into the studio I have that vocabulary in mind. Now, more work gets done in my brain before I can touch the material."
According to the poster heralding her lecture, Wojick's work "ranges from installations to singular objects, and she frequently combines the two to create works that function as both object and site. She works with ordinary, non-precious materials to create geometric forms richly imbued with pattern, texture and tactility."
Among the pieces she has shown at Colgate are a 12-foot carpet of kitchen matches cast in rubber and five green and white tunnels of bubble wrap that fans slowly inflated and deflated.
"I really love the challenge of transforming a whole room."
With students to teach and work to create, Amanda Wojick is happy to be back at Colgate.
"I think this place has really good energy." JH
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