Mark D. Gottsegen, M.F.A.
University of North Carolina
Department of Art
"Simply put, I have learned more about art materials from my ASTM colleagues over the past 25 years than I ever learned in school. The forum ASTM International provides is a terrific classroom."
At what university and in what department do you teach?
I teach in the Department of Art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
What is the nature of the courses you teach?
I teach drawing and painting (studio courses), and materials of painting (a lecture/laboratory course).
What year did you join ASTM International? In which committees are you active? Are you a committee officer?
I joined ASTM International in 1978 and am active in Subcommittee D01.57 on Artist Paints and Related Materials; I have been chair of that subcommittee since about 1994.
What are some advantages of your participation in standards development?
Simply put, I have learned more about art materials from my ASTM colleagues over the past 25 years than I ever learned in school. The forum ASTM International provides is a terrific classroom.
Do you incorporate standards, ASTM or otherwise, into your curriculum? If so, what types? How are they implemented (case studies, research, other)? What is the value of doing so?
In my materials of painting course I devote one lecture to all of the ASTM standards produced by D01.57 - some 15 of them. My students learn to read a product label, something most of them have not done before, and learn how our labeling standards and test methods were developed. They become, I hope, much better consumers of the products they use.
Have you been involved in research, either past or presently? If so, in what capacity? What role did standards play in this research?
I have done, and continue to do as time permits, research on the lightfastness of artists' materials using ASTM D 4303, Standard Test Methods for Lightfastness of Colorants Used in Artists' Materials, D 5383, Standard Practice for Visual Determination of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by Art Technologists, and D 5398, Standard Practice for Visual Evaluation of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by the User.
What advantages do you see for students to have an understanding of standards and their development?
I think the greatest benefit for my students is that they learn the tools to distinguish, in many aspects, quality art materials from junk.
In your view, should a familiarity with standards be required for graduate-level education, particularly in engineering, law and business disciplines? Would this assist in gaining professional success?
Yes, I think in those professions a thorough knowledge of standards and their development would be an asset. As for graduate students in art - it's generally too late for them!