All About “You Call That Art?!”

  • You call THAT Art?!!!!

  • WHO paid for that?!

  • Why is that there and WHAT does it mean?

  • Is that a car wreck or a masterpiece??

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Have you ever seen a sculpture that as far as you can tell looks more like a car wreck than a modern masterpiece? Most people, shop whether from a teeming metropolis, help a burg on the interstate or a small town in the heartland can answer yes to that question. In this weekly half-hour series, Professor John T. Young hops on his Harley and takes us on a journey that will demystify works of public art. Some of the works you may have taken for granted, some of it you may have considered an eye sore, some works you may not even have known was art. To anyone who has ever muttered the words You Call That Art?!...this show’s for you.

Professor Young takes us on-location for an up close, hands on look at the public art in our parks, cities and towns. He will introduce us to the art, the stories, and the controversies surrounding public art. In personal interviews many of the artists will tell us how they see the world through their work. While exploring their studios or enjoying a beer with Professor Young at their favorite watering holes the artists will reveal their inspirations, intentions and the concepts surrounding their art. We’ll also meet the people behind the scenes who select and commission these works…Wait a minute… You Call That Art?!…Who’s paying for this stuff?…

The program premiered in November of 2010 on KCTS-9, Seattle, Washington.

Watch the pilot program now!

8 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. ozubko #

    love the m’cycle

  2. Winnie #

    Wow! I love this show! I can’t wait to see it in November on KCTS and look forward to many more shows. The quality of the filming, editing, and directing is excellent. The host is a hoot and really knows his way around public art. I will be showing this informative and fun episode to all my art classes.
    Ms. Winnie

  3. John U #

    Here is an art installation of car wrecks:,_distant.jpg

    And there is a very simple definition of art.

    Art is intentionally created things that make you look twice.

    Good art makes you look repeatedly.

    Great art makes people look generations after generation.

  4. Susan #

    LOVED IT!!! As a Seattle native I thought I knew most everything about our public art scene and have done many a field trip w/kids of all ages through many years appreciating it. To my happy surprise, John brought some new knowledge and history to pieces I thought I knew… peeling an onion.
    The whole production, from writers and techs to the host’s comfortable humor was excellent and hopefully this will become a permanant piece of KCTS 9′s weekly programming!

  5. 5

    I think the show is great and I hope that future episodes will continue to really get into each piece maybe with some documentary footage, archival photos and more in depth interviews. More, more, more!

  6. W. A. Chapin #

    I have been following both John T. Young’s writings and John’s own public art for years. His ability to talk about public art comes from the unique position of being a public artist, himself, for so many years. John’s approach is so different than that of many art historians who tend to talk at the art or at the viewer. John talks from a position of having been through the process himself. I was very impressed with his ability to encourage bystanders to open up and talk honestly and authentically about the art they were viewing. John made the art viewers he interviewed feel comfortable, letting them understand that there is no one right way to view the art. This parlayed into the television audience feeling comfortable and I think will encourage a feeling of proud public ownership from citizens of Seattle toward the art in their city. “You Call That Art” is exactly the type of arts programming the Pacific Northwest needs. In terms of hosting a show like this, John has it all: a huge knowledge base, a natural on-camera personality, a comfortable non-elitist approach and, importantly, he understands that this area is filled with intelligent people who want an intelligent public television show.

  7. 7

    Great show, John! Almost as much fun as being in your class. Many more!


  8. 8

    Hey John,

    In my interview as the featured Artist in Texas Sculpture Association Artist Spotlight for February, I mentioned you by name. Thought you might like to know. I also mentioned Norm Taylor and my ID professors Tadeo Shimizu and Jim Hennessey. All you guys inspired me!