Program Spotlight: Ethics in the Arts

Kent Place School. 10/23/18 Photo by John O’Boyle

July 13 – 17, 2020

High School Program (rising 9-12th grade)

10:00 am – 2:30 pm


Middle School Program (rising 6-8th grade)

10:00 am – 2:30 pm


The mission of the Ethics in the Arts program is to explore ethical issues in the arts, through art making and art viewing. This program encourages ethical dialogue and reflection around ethical questions that arise organically when interacting with art. Through hearing from visiting artists and exploring art through dynamic activities, participants engage in meaningful exploration of fundamental concepts that enrich their understanding of themselves, the world, and their relationships with others.

✅ Examine complex issues and ideas through dialogue with others

✅ Engage in various artistic expressions that encourage positive risk taking

✅ Enhance collaboration, reflection and communication skills

The Ethics and the Arts program supports participants as they broaden their awareness of ethical issues and use their unique voice to explore ideas through art and dialogue. Some questions that often arise are:

  • Identity: What role does a person’s identity have in their art and our viewing of their art?
  • Risk-Taking: What does taking risks look like for artists, and when does this cross an ethical line?
  • Responsibility: What obligation, if any, do artists have to others (such as: their subjects, viewers, and the general public)? How should we engage with an artwork? Can there be plagiarism within art?
  • Intention vs. Impact: How should we navigate tensions between the impact of the art and intention of the artist? What should we do when an artwork is offensive or harmful?
  • Values:  How can art explore ethical themes such as justice, empathy, and freedom?
  • Power: What is the power of art? How should artists use this power? 

Learn and engage with expert visiting artists

Visiting Artists

Jasmin Roberts is a queer trans activist and writer born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Jasmin competes in poetry slams at the national level, and placed 4th overall at the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam competition. They are an alumnus of Oberlin College, and hold a graduate degree in Developmental Psychology from UMass Amherst. Jasmin is active in the queer youth community, leads youth and adult workshops on intersectionality & art as activism, and was the keynote speaker for the 2016 Massachusetts GLSEN conference.

Jenny Dubnau paints photo-based psychological portraits. She grew up in New York City, and received her MFA from Yale in 1996. She has shown at PPOW and Black & White gallery in NYC, Bucheon gallery in San Francisco, Bernice Steinbaum gallery in Miami, and the Aldrich Museum in Connecticut. She has received grants from the Pollock-Krasner, a Guggenheim, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant. She lives in Queens, NY and her studio is on the Lower East Side.

Laura Larson has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including Art in General, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, SFCamerawork, Susanne Vielmetter/L.A. Projects, and Wexner Center for the Arts. Her exhibitions have been reviewed byThe New York TimesThe New Yorker, and Time Out New York. She is the recipient of grants from Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council and the New York Foundation of the Arts, and of residency fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Santa Fe Art Institute, and Ucross Foundation.

Program Facilitators

Karen Rezach, Director of The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School

Ariel Sykes, Assistant Director of The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School

Marie Micchelli, Middle School Art Teacher at Kent Place School