Join us as we explore the role of the public in socially engaged art.
What is the public's imagination in relationship to social
engagement and its potential within the society we inhabit? What is the
nature of the public's commitment to space and place, and how is it related
to a social engagement that formulates new social imaginaries? This
conversation will explore these questions and discuss the place of socially
engaged art in our many publics.
Introduction: Ann Messner, Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts, Pratt Institute
Artist and activist Ann Messner has consistently
challenged the unresolved schisms between notions of private life/space and
public/civic experience, focusing on the relationship between the
individual and the larger social body within public discourse. Ann was a
key player in The Real Estate
Show, breaking ground as one of the
first art shows to expose the inequities of real estate in New York. More
recently she critically analyzed the "war on terror" through a series of
tabloid and video works created with direct-action collective
A.R.T. Meteor, her 1980 public intervention in Times Square,
presaged our current age of technological reliance and
Aslan Selzer (artist,
organizer and writer) develops micro-communities where visual artists can
expand on larger social issues and deal with generosity, exchange, and
failure. In each of these projects she assembles spaces where people can
learn through interaction with others by provoking discourse that is
informed by circumstances that are too often held "outside" of art. She is
co-editor with Ted Purves of What
We Want Is Free: Critical Exchanges in Recent Art (SUNY Press, 2014).
Jaret Vadera, an artist and
cultural producer based in Brooklyn, explores the poetics of translation
and the politics of vision through his interdisciplinary art practice.
Jaret has concurrently worked as an organizer, programmer, curator,
educator, editor, writer, and designer for socially engaged organizations
that focus on using art as a catalyst for social change, including
Community Arts Ontario, Rush Arts Gallery, and Aljira, a Center for
Joseph, Professor of Global Studies,
Pratt Institute, teaches urbanism, global studies and visual culture. In
her recently published book Fluid
New York (Duke University Press, 2013),
Joseph describes the many ways that New York, and New Yorkers, have begun
to incorporate the city's archipelago ecology into plans for a livable and
sustainable future. Joseph suggests that New York's future lies in the
reclamation of its great water resources—for artistic
creativity, civic engagement and ecological sustainability.
artist, activist, and founder of Project Row Houses, a
neighborhood-based nonprofit art and cultural organization in Houston's
Northern Third Ward, one of the city's oldest African-American
began in 1993 as a result of discussions among African-American artists who
wanted to establish a positive, creative presence in their own community.
Among Rick's honors are Rudy Bruner Awards in Urban Excellence; AIA
Keystone Award; Heinz Award in the arts and humanities; Loeb Fellow at
Harvard University; Mel King Fellow at MIT; Skowhegan Governor's Award;
Skandalaris Award for
Art/Architecture; and USA Artists Booth Fellow. President Barack Obama appointed Rick to the
National Council on the Arts in 2013.
Support for the event provided by the Deans of
the School of Art and Design and School of Liberal Arts and Sciences to
encourage cross-campus collaboration and sponsored by the Departments of
Fine Arts, Art and Design Education, and the Department of Social Science
and Cultural Studies. Event
coordinated by Heather Lewis, Associate Professor, Art and Design
Education; Ann Messner, Adjunct Professor Fine Arts; and Uzma
Rizvi, Assistant Professor
Social Science & Cultural Studies.