The New Arts Program

For the past three decades, the artist, James Carroll, has directed Kutztown’s New Arts Program. In that time it has become one of the nation’s premier organizations for contemporary art. Many of the world’s most significant visual and performing artists have participated in NAP events and/or served on its board of directors. This list of luminaries is far too extensive to represent with a few selected examples. To see for yourself click “Residencies,” Performances,” “Exhibitions,” and “NAP on TV” from this page.The most outstanding aspect of the New Arts Program is its high level of aesthetic significance. It is a “community arts organization” in some ways, but far more. It truly is a cutting edge global resource – a museum, a performance and exhibition space, and a repository of artwork and documentation that chronicles and represents the history of postmodern aesthetics in a uniquely continuous and accessible venue.While multi-million-dollar private and publicly-funded arts organizations are common across the US, they are often no more than symbolic trophies for municipalities and philanthropists to trumpet “arts awareness.” Besides the tendency of these so-called “art communities” to become little more than upscale marketplaces and gentrified real estate, these venues blur the distinction between art and craft. Aesthetically therefore, they do more harm than good.James Carroll’s vision is different. He holds to the evolving principles of the aesthetic avant-garde and has a no-nonsense reputation for presenting the world’s most serious and significant artists and their work in a uniquely intimate and personalized manner. There are no compromises in order to embrace fashionable trends in his exhibitions and performances. Instead Carroll presents the work of one-of-a-kind visionaries by adhering scrupulously to their aesthetic intentions. Currently on view at the New Arts Program is its seventeenth annual Invitational Salon of Small Works. Running through July 15, this voluminous show offers an opportunity to view the works of over 200 artists in a single exhibition area. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to visit Kutztown’s New Arts Program, you’re missing what may be the best resource for an in-depth study of contemporary art from here to New York City.To learn more about the New Arts Program, click here.*Image: James Carroll at the New Arts Program Exhibition Space, TFD, 2006.

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