Archive for January, 2011

IT’S NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE: Gregory Sale – Social Studies Project 6

Gregory Sale – Social Studies Project 6

February 1 – May 14, 2011

Season Opening Reception:
Friday, February 18 from 7-9pm

“With a population of roughly 6.5 million, (Arizona has) over 40,000 inmates. The state of Washington, with a population slightly larger than Arizona, has roughly 18,000.” *

“A recent Pew Center report indicates that in 2008, one in 33 adults in Arizona was under correctional control, which includes jail, prison, parole and probation. Twenty-five years ago, this number was one in 79. What has changed so much is not human nature, but the offenses for which we incarcerate and the imposition of mandatory sentences.” **
– Rep. Cecil Ash, R-Mesa (Ariz.)

The Residency
It’s not just black and white is a three-month-long residency exhibition with Gregory Sale, a Phoenix-based artist who will work through artistic gestures to initiate and host dialogue, aspiring to give voice to the multiple constituencies of the corrections, incarceration and criminal justice systems. The ASU Art Museum gallery space will operate as a site for developing and displaying visual and mediated exhibitions, dance and other staged events, discussions and readings.

As the title It’s not just black and white implies, the intent of the project is to expose and examine the many often conflicting viewpoints, perspectives and values that are generated from serious considerations of justice and public safety. The project will provide the opportunity for the public to explore the impact of modern criminal justice through fact-based tours, dialogues and programs – offering more first-hand experience of the many strands that make up this complicated narrative.

ASU Art Museum Social Studies Initiative
The Museum’s Social Studies initiative is a series of residency exhibitions, begun in 2007, that explore this dialogue-based, process-oriented context by literally bringing the studio into the museum, and by engaging the public directly in the creative process of exhibition-making in the space where “the art object” is usually found.

The ASU Art Museum continues to transform museum traditions by returning to the original sociological function of the institution – to encourage the circulation of ideas embedded in the archive, to provide a safe place for curiosity and to create an exchange point for the flow of conversation between and among artists, curators, collectors, students, social and governmental institutions, and the public.

Get Involved
Calendars within the gallery, on the exhibition website and this museum blog will announce programs and performances, as well as opportunities to participate in Tent City Jail tours as they are confirmed over the course of the residency. Individuals and organizations demonstrating a sustained engagement in civil justice and themes of the project may also reserve the gallery for classes, meetings, workshops, etc. See “Open Bookings” on the website for details.

Community Partners
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Humanities Council, Gina’s Team, The University of Arizona Poetry Center, with additional partnerships currently being developed.

Advisory Committee
Shelley Cohn, Arts Advocate and Community Volunteer; Nancy Dallett, Public Historian, ASU, School of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies; Bill Hart, Senior Policy Analyst, ASU, Morrison Institute for Public Policy; Adriene Jenik, Professor and Director, ASU, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, School of Art; Teri Murphy, Faculty Associate for Justice and Social Transformation, and Fellow, ASU, Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict; Jeremy Mussman, Deputy Director, Maricopa County Public Defender and Member, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice; Amy Rex, Manager, Maricopa County Criminal Justice Projects, Maricopa County Manager’s Office; Matthew Salenger, Architect and Artist, colab studio llc; Arthur J. Sabatini, PhD, ASU Associate Professor of Performance Studies, Humanities, Arts and Culture, College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; Arnim Wiek, Assistant Professor, ASU, School of Sustainability

Key Artistic Collaborators
Claes Bergman, Teniqua Broughton, Vikki Dempsey, Matthew Garcia, Stephen Gittins, Sloane McFarland, Elizabeth Johnson, Ken Lamberton, Matthew Mosher, Kara Roschi, Richard Shelton, David Tinapple, Erec Toso

It’s not just black and white is supported by grants from
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Friends of the ASU Art Museum.

Curated by John D. Spiak, It’s not just black and white – Gregory Sale: Social Studies Project 6 will be installed in the Turk Gallery of the ASU Art Museum’s Nelson Fine Arts Center location.

Museum Blog
Keeping checking this blog for information and updates on the project:

*The Arizona Republic, January 28, 2011
**Arizona Capitol Times, December 11, 2009

Additional Blog Posts
Angela Davis, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Youth in Detention = Social Practice
Reconnecting – It’s not just black and white
Dream like you mean it: The Mother-Daughter Distance Dance
Another Active Week and the Schedule for April
Waiting for Release, Sentencing Reform & Welcoming Home
Invitation to Join Us for Volunteer Event – GINA’s Team
Inside & Outside – It’s not just black and white
More Similar Than Different + Tent City Jail Tour Opportunity
You can’t move forward until you know where you are
Olympic Gold Medalist, Gina’s Team and PVCC Students!
IT’S NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE: Gregory Sale – Social Studies Project 6

January 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm 13 comments

Saying goodbye

Last week, artist Brent Green was in town to dismantle his wild and wonderful installation Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then. We were sorry to see it go. For the four months that it occupied the Museum’s top gallery, it provided a portal onto another world, one where love and the desire to protect and hold onto those we love are primary.

Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, at the ASU Art Museum. (Photo by Craig Smith)

During the course of the installation, just outside the gallery itself, we invited visitors to write down their own desires for their loved ones on pieces of paper shaped like little houses. Hundreds did, and many drew pictures too.

Here are some of the responses:

“A puppy”


“No limitations on food to give to all the people who live in poverty.”

“I would make and give hope to those without any.”

“Limbs for people who have lost them.”

“No mas guerras, no mas hambre, mas paz sobre la tierra. No mas descriminacion. No mas.”

“A clone of myself because I’m awesome!”

“I made a unicorn out of popsicle sticks, but I never got it to be good enough, so I never gave it as a gift. I should.”

“Wings (metaphorically)”

“A home of monumental architecture and art.”

“My heart. It was returned to sender broken.”

“I would give everyone someplace to live, something to eat and meaningful work to do. And someone who loves them back.”

“I would make a machine that showed people how to appreciate what they have.”

“I would go back in time and save my Dad. Love you Dad.”

“A bubble of happiness for my daughter.”

“I would make a house where I was allowed to be married to who I loved…regardless of their gender.”

“A touch of enlightenment”

And here’s Brent’s favorite:


As difficult as it was to see Brent’s exhibition leave, there was a special urgency to this particular deinstallation, because there was to be a memorial service for our friend and colleague Susan Ables in that same top gallery, just hours after the last piece of art had been crated.

Thanks to single-minded teamwork on the part of the entire Museum staff, by 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 20, when the memorial began, the gallery was filled with flowers, food, and seats to accomodate the overflow audience. More than 160 people gathered that evening to pay tribute to Susan. Many of them had also attended a service for her at a funeral home in north Scottsdale earlier that afternoon; the Museum had closed to the public so that our entire staff could go to the earlier service as well, if we chose to. We all chose to.

Susan’s was a life well-lived that ended far too soon, and so abruptly that her relatives, co-workers and friends couldn’t help but have trouble making sense of her absence. Together, in the space that had just housed Brent Green’s bittersweet ode to faith and to love, we shared memories and told our favorite stories, and thanked Susan’s family — her beloved children and grandchildren — for sharing her with us. We celebrated the extraordinary person we knew her to be.

Of the many heartfelt hand-written responses to Brent’s work that speak of the strength of love and the precariousness of life, one stands out, especially now. It seems like good advice, the kind of advice Susan might have given us:

“In the vastness of this world, a life can end in a flash…an instant. All we can do is love. Love every moment until the last.”

January 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Re-Thinking the Museum – Panel & Ian Berry @ ASU Art Museum

A series of residencies and conversations with innovative, international
museum professionals, artists, visuals and material culture scholars.  

Tuesday, February 1 @ 6pm – FREE
Thinking About Re-Thinking

Tuesday, February 8 @ 6pm – FREE
A Manifesto of Yes: Optimistic Practices in Art and Teaching

*click on image to enlarge size to read complete text

Re-Thinking the Museum was conceived by a transdisciplinary team spanning three departments: ASU Art Museum, the School of Art and the Museum Studies Program. The visiting scholars and artists will share their knowledge and, in dialog with ASU faculty and students and the larger community, build a critical body of thought toward reinventing and creating models for the future of museums and museum practice.

January 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm 1 comment

Open for Business – Closing Event & Walking Tour (1/29)

Saturday, January 29
Performances – 1-3pm
Walking tour – 3-5pm

Closing Event Performances
Peter Bugg in collaboration with Ryan Peter Miller: Target Audience
Adam Murray: Resonance

Curator Lead Walking Tour
Join Open for Business artists and ASU Art Museum curator John Spiak
on a stroll through downtown Tempe and experience the artist projects
at participating businesses.

A map for the Open for Business project is available at the ASU Art Museum
and online at the following address:

Open for Business Artist Spotlights:
Marco Rosicelli – Buffalo Exchange
Saskia Jorda – The Shoe Mill
Peter Bugg with Ryan Peter Miller – ASU Art Museum Store
Mary Lucking – Rúla Búla
David Tinapple – Cartel Coffee Lab
Cyndi Coon – Downtown Tempe Community, Inc. (DTC)
Jon Haddock – The Headquarters
Tania Katan – The Library Bar & Grill*
Adam Murray – Caffe Boa
Wendy Furman – BrandX Custom T-Shirts
Matthew Mosher – Fascinations
Erin V. Sotak – La Bocca
Chris Todd – Sucker Punch Sally’s*
Jen Urso – The Bicycle Cellar
Nic Wiesinger – Monti’s La Casa Vieja

January 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Susan M. Ables Memorial @ ASU Art Museum

*click on image to enlarge for complete details.

Please join us to celebrate the life of our friend, colleague and family member Susan M. Ables

Thursday, Jan 20, at 5pm
ASU Art Museum
51 East 10th Street
SE corner of Mill Ave. and 10th St.

In lieu of flowers, donations toward the Susan M. Ables Lounge at the ASU Art Museum will be accepted.

Parking is free and available in front of the Ceramics Research Center, corner of Mill Ave. and 10th St., and all areas of Lot 16 after 4:30pm.

January 16, 2011 at 1:33 am

Brick by brick

Phoenix artist Patricia Sannit has been hard at work for months on her Citadel (based on an actual citadel in the Kurdish region of Iraq), with the help of dozens of volunteers. In the following e-mail to the people who helped her, she describes the progress. The exhibition, Citadel, opens at the Ceramics Research Center on Feb. 5; the season opening reception for the Museum and the CRC is Feb. 18. Hope you’ll join us!

Hello all you lovely people!

So many of you helped me along every step of the way toward the completion of Citadel. Every phase has seemed all consuming to me, it is hard to imagine that the final phase is underway!

Lots of you mixed clay, made bricks, or provided clay, a truck, moral support, positive thoughts, provocative conversation, entertaining dialogue, cooling ideas, brilliant solutions, muscle power, or just really wanted to help but couldn’t. It was all so valuable.

Most recently, legions of you (friends and students and husbands and partners, maybe even strangers?) helped me get the bricks and blocks and pavers of Citadel to (Phoenix College) for firing. THAT was a day!

Every day since then, the kilns at PC have been humming. We have loaded and unloaded each gas kiln 5 times, and most of the electrics have been working constantly as well. There have been some disasters, but when I surveyed the tables covered in bricks today, the sight was pretty impressive. We lost about 15 all together, out of a total of 500 bricks. Not bad! The raw clay, so beautiful, is now fired and hard and a warm toasty color, in many variations.

I spent today with Darrell, Alberto and Joe at Phoenix College sorting and labeling hundreds of bricks. The last kilns were loaded yesterday and fired off today. Darrell and Alberto did a beautiful job filling cracks and repairing some of the more damaged bricks. Joe devised a labeling system.

There were sooooooo many bricks. Once again, I grossly underestimated the sheer amount of work involved, and once again (amazingly), lovely people showed up and helped.

I have not said thank you enough times because it would be impossible for me to thank any of you enough.

I am so grateful to all of you!


Below: The final load/unload crew, from left, Joe Valenzuela (ASU global studies student), Sannit, Kelly Hansen (Sannit’s assistant), Katie-Allen-Inman and Emily Chang.

January 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Sad news

Last week we lost our colleague Susan Ables.

Susan’s official position was Administrative Assistant at the ASU Art Museum, but there is no title that could accurately indicate how much she was responsible for here, how many lives she brightened with her daily acts of kindness, or how important she is, to us and to the community.

Below is a note from our director, Gordon Knox, on Susan’s passing.

Dear friends,

It is with great sorrow that I write to let you know that Susan Ables passed away last Friday. We will miss Susan so very much. It will take days and even weeks for the loss to sink in, and only slowly will we find ourselves back, together and moving forward. We can carry this loss and remember and honor beloved Susan; and above all, allow her heart, her values and her wonderful humor to become an on-going part of all of us – individually and collectively. We are deeply fortunate to have her in our lives; what a wonderful gift her presence is.

We will stay in touch as plans develop for a memorial service.

with sorrow,


January 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm

CALL FOR ENTRIES – 15th Annual Short Film and Video Festival

15th Annual
Arizona State University Art Museum
Short Film and Video Festival


Deadline for Entering Work

Brief history of the festival, guidelines for entry, a complete list of the works that have been screened at past festivals and a few success stories can be found online at the following address:

Festival is scheduled to take place

The festival is free for artists to enter their work and free to attend.

ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival is an ASU Art Museum Moving Targets initiative.

January 5, 2011 at 10:52 pm

January 2011

ASU Ceramics Research Center Library