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What is an Art Colloquium?

What exactly is an art colloquium? This term is generally used on college campuses and at art exhibitions and refers to a specific kind of group event involving art. Read on as we take a closer look at what this kind of event is really all about.

The Basics

First, the word "colloquium" is often not recognized by the layperson. As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, colloquium is a noun that is simply another word for seminar or conference. Focusing on art as the prime subject, an art colloquium is therefore a seminar of conference about art.

This is a very basic definition, but beyond this, there is much more to this kind of art conference. In such a colloquium, physical pieces of art are usually displayed. Expert speaking sessions are conducted and analysis and opinions given with regard to the art. In the end, the colloquium in art often works in several parts: display works of art, analyze them, discuss, and productively conclude.

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The purposes for such a conference are varied and can range widely from one venue to the next. A fair generalization of the motives here could include educating, providing awareness, spreading an opinion, debating concepts and ideas, and even simple exposure and advertisement of art to large groups. This is only speaking in generality though as every event is truly different.

Real Colloquiums in Action

We've now covered the basic defines and motives for this kind of event. We still have a few questions to cover though. Where do these events occur, and who holds them? What are some actual examples of this art event taking place? Let's get some more answers as we look to several, real-life examples of art colloquiums in action.

UC Santa Barbara Fall 2016 Colloquium

UC Santa Barbara's Department of Art is hosting a free-to-the-public colloquium from September 22 to December 1. Contemporary art, cultural ideas, and theory in art are some of the main topics touted for expert discussion under the main theme of the colloquium – "Women of Color in Art". Experts and artists including Holly Tempo, Zeal Harris, Mina Cheon, and expert college staff will give insight into the art and ideas being presented. For more information, visit this colloquium's website at

UC Berkeley ARC, Arts and Design 2016-2017 Colloquium

This example, courtesy of UC Berkeley, shows us how colloquiums aren't always one-dimensional in subject. The university's Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium 2016-2017 is a fantastic blend of these three subjects for expert presentation, analysis, and opinion. In this globally-recognized, free-to-the-public event, expert speakers such as Tom Sachs, Mike Tyka, and Lawrence Rinder shed light on this year's loosely interwoven theme, "Digital Immersions". More detailed information on this ongoing colloquium and its schedule of events can be found at

Today's colloquium of art is a sort of educational blend of art exhibition and expert lectures and presentations. The examples provided here offer even deeper insight as to what these functions are all about. These are the basics of today's art colloquium.