Posts tagged ‘ASU School of Art’

Notes from Art Basel Miami Beach 2011

I’m starting to emerge from the haze of overstimulation and lack of sleep that is the Art Basel Miami Beach experience. This year Lekha Hileman Waitoller and I from the Museum went with a group from the School of Art that included Adriene Jenik, Director;  two faculty members, Susan Beiner and Mark Pomilio; and eight graduate students from a variety of media,  funded by a local donor. The benefit to all of us — particularly the grad students — is tremendous, as we fanned out all over the city to visit art fairs, private collections, museums, special installations and exhibitions. We noticed a number of trends, in particular painting that utilizes a range of processes and materials, and may not use paint at all, and text-based work diagramming systems and worlds, like the art world or the war.

Here are my highlights:

  • De La Cruz Collection, a spectacular building that rivals any museum and was thoughtfully installed with groupings of international contemporary works, dominated by paintings, that explored media and process
  • Pulse fair, established international galleries who represent edgier contemporary artists, I took copious notes and photos
  • Seven, an offshoot fair/installation by seven New York galleries, with, among other things, a small installation of new drawings and photographs by Anthony Goicolea, who will be in our Performing for the Camera show this spring
  • Bass Museum of Art’s perplexing exhibition of sculptor Erwin Wurm, which stays with me
  • the chance to spend time with work by two of the most important women artists of the twentieth century: at the Miami Art Museum Faith Ringgold’s paintings from the 1960s and 70s exploring race relations, and several installations in the private collections of Ana Mendieta’s performance videos and photographs
  • the main fair, Art Basel, which seemed livelier this year in terms of the art shown and the crowds and had great programs (we saw the Russian installation artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, among others)
  • the video programs in the pods at the main fair — which I immediately photographed for our installation crew — and projected at night outside on one of the largest screens that I have ever seen
  • and, finally, the opportunity to meet and connect with artists, curators, collectors and gallerists from across the country.

–Heather Sealy Lineberry, Senior Curator and Associate Director

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December 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

Cleaning the meat wall (yes, that says “meat wall”)

Intern Aubree Jacobs tidies up Adriana Varejão’s Ruina de Charque-Quina.

The ASU Art Museum is known for having some powerful pieces of social commentary in its permanent collection; one example is Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão’s Ruina de Charque-Quina (Corner Jerked-Beef Ruin), 2003, a piece acquired by the Museum in 2006.

Sitting between the Museum’s front doors, this imposing piece — oil on wood and polyurethane, although it looks much heavier and more substantial than that, as if it had been ripped from the corner of a building covered in glazed tile — is a head turner. For one thing, it towers over visitors, even the tall ones. But even more remarkable is the red substance sandwiched between the tile surfaces. Where insulation might normally go, the space appears to have been packed with large slabs of raw meat.

Varejão’s intention is to show the underbelly of Brazil’s rich history, and to expose the dark truth behind the dazzling churches and ornate dwellings of that country’s colonial elite: The economy that made possible such wealth and extravagance rested on slavery. A text panel next to the work explains that it’s about the tension between social convention and what it glosses over, and that it references both violence and the body without actually showing either.

Aubree Jacobs, a senior double-majoring in Art History and Museum Studies, is the intern in the Museum’s registrar’s office . The other day, as part of her museum duties, Aubree was called upon to deploy skills that she probably didn’t learn in college. Armed with a small brush, white gloves and a special over-the-shoulder vacuum cleaner, Aubree meticulously cleaned the Varejão, particularly those places on the explosed edges of the wall that tend to gather dust. It must have looked a little strange to visitors, but it’s all part of a day’s work when you’re taking good care of the art that visitors come to see.

August 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Postcommodity & Announcement Brochure for 18th Biennale of Sydney!

The announcement brochure for the upcoming 18th Biennale of Sydney includes an image of Postcommodity’s site-specific intervention Do You Remember When? (2009), which took place at the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center.

We are excited to see Postcommodity continue to get recognition outside of our ASU and Arizona community!

Kade Twist, a founding and active member of Postcommodity, is a current MFA student at the ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Cristóbal Martínez, an active member of Postcommodity, received his BFA from the ASU School of Art, recently graduated with his M.A. from the ASU School of Arts, Media and Engineering and in Fall 2011 will begin his doctoral study at ASU with Dr. James Gee and Dr. Bryan Brayboy.

In addition to the Do You Remember When? project, Postcommodity created the site-specific performance/installation Dead River (2009) for the ASU Art Museum Street Party exhibition at Martha+Mary’s 4400 location; Kade Twist created the solo work There is no end of the trail; there is merely a system of prosthesis (2006) for the Museum’s exhibition New American City: Artists Look Forward; and former Postcommodity member Steven Yazzie’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions at the ASU Art Museum over the years, including his piece Tsosido Sweep Dance (2009) in the current exhibition Self-Referential: Art Looking at Art, which runs through August 27.

Here is a link to a download for the 18th Biennale of Sydney brochure:

18th Biennale Advance Brochure
http://www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/_blog/Biennale_News/post/Biennale_Brochure/

And here is the nice response received from artist Kade Twist…

From: Kade L. Twist
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 11:11 AM

Greetings from the Santa Fe Art Institute!

Thank you for the note John.  You are too kind.

Postcommodity is honored to be featured so prominently in the brochure, especially since it is being circulated at Venice. And we have had conversations with the curators about re-staging Do You Remember When? in a manner that is relevant to the Indigenous Australian community, as well as the potential for staging other work.  We have not yet received an official letter from the Biennial of Sydney confirming our participation.  Being included in the brochure is a good sign and I hope means our odds are good that we will be included, but until we receive an official notice I remain hopeful. With that disclaimer put forward, I do want to make one point very clear: Postcommodity is greatly appreciative of the support that the ASU Art Museum has provided us!  You have all worked hard to ensure that we are welcome contributors to the museum’s discourse, and we thank you for this. In many ways we believe that the ASU Art Museum is our home, or at least you all do an excellent job of making us feel as if it is! We greatly appreciate Peter Held curating us into the Sustainability exhibition and providing us with a platform to contribute.  Mr. Kim, Peter, Heather, John and the Museum played a significant role in enabling us to cut the hole in the floor of the institution and fully realize the work that eventually connected us with the Sydney curators. We will always have a special relationship with each of you and the museum. Also: I would like to thank Adriene Jenik for all of her support, patience and mentorship. It’s an honor to be her student and to have the opportunity to work with her and attend the School of Art’s Intermedia program. 

ASU is a fantastic art community!  I’m blessed that Postcommodity is a part of this community.

Best regards,

-Kade

Kade L. Twist
http://nativelabs.com/
http://postcommodity.com/

June 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Reconnecting – It’s not just black and white

April is drawing to a close, and it has been an extremely busy month for projects associated with Gregory Sale’s Social Studies project It’s not just black and white.

The month began with the third public tour of Tent City Jail, another informative, eye-opening and direct experience opportunity for all involved.

On April 9, the Museum was fortunate to host a portion of the School of Social Transformation, Justice & Social Inquiry’s 1st Annual ASU Human Rights Film Festival. The afternoon, organized by the School of Social Transformation in collaboration with the Tempe Chapter of Amnesty International and ASU Art Museum, was based on the theme of Prisoner’s Rights and Militarization of Justice, screening the films Cointelpro 101 and The Response. The screening was followed by a lively discussion on the topics, led by Alan Eladio Gómez, Ph.D. Borderlands Scholar and Assistant Professor in the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at ASU.

The organization Reentry and Preparedness, Inc. (REAP) hosted a meeting on April 12 for its board of directors and advisory board. Reentry and Preparedness, Inc. (REAP) is dedicated to providing green job training, transition training, and mentorship for the families of the reintegrators from prisons and jails. The event was organized by Carol Manetta, Executive Director of REAP, as part of It’s not just black and white Open Bookings.

The Civil Dialogue Project on April 13 focused on creating a safe space for divergent viewpoints. Using the technique of civil dialogue, ASU faculty from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication facilitated a dialogue focused on two hot topics: incarceration and prisons. This project was an opportunity for students and the public to dialogue safely about issues that could be polarizing, in an effort to promote understanding. The event was facilitated by Clark Olson, Instructional Professional, and Jennifer Linde, Lecturer, at the Hugh Downs School of Communications.

Through arrangements made by the artist, working in direct relationship with the administrations of Adobe Mountain and Black Canyon high schools of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, fifteen male and female students joined us at the Museum on April 18th for their first of three full-day visits.  The students, along with their teachers, administration and ASU students, received a tour of the Museum and were provided a brief introduction to It’s not just black and white by the artist. We all walked to the School of Art, where we joined Stephen Gittins’ photo class and were given a tour of the studios and darkrooms. We took a walk through campus to the Memorial Union, where we enjoyed a lunch and conversation together. Upon arriving back at the museum, the art supplies were ready for the students to add their artistic expressions to the public wall within the gallery space. ASU Graduate Teaching Assistant Ashley Hare, of the ASU School of Theatre and Film, then led the students through a series of performance and improvisational workshops. Finally, the students walked over to the back of the Nelson Fine Arts Center theatre spaces and worked with graduate students through a puppetry workshop, creating their own puppets out of the masses of supplies made available to them.

A program the evening of April 19th combined two diverse groups in conversation.  The first group was criminal justice students of Professor Cathryn Mayer from Brookline College who arranged guest speaker Deputy Director Charles Flanagan from the Arizona Department of Corrections.  The second group were students from ASU professor Dr. Alesha Durfee’s Women and Social Change class who organized a panel including Maricopa County Chief Probation Officer Barbara Broderick of the Adult Probation Department, Sue Ellen Allen of Gina’s Team, Peggy Plews of Arizona Prison Watch and Donna Hamm of Middle Ground Prison Reform.  The entire group of sixty-five individual in attendance received a wide range of views and perspectives before engaging in respectful question and answer dialogue for an extremely successful event.

This past Saturday, April 23, as an Open Booking, The United Teams for Restorative Justice took over the space, providing a panel presentation of five organizations and their constituencies who engage with the criminal justice system, helping individuals heal and move forward in life. The five organizations in attendance and being recognized for their tireless efforts included Moma’s House, for its dedication to helping abused women escape the abuse and start a new life; Arizona Peace Alliance, for having a Department of Peace added as a cabinet level position in the government and for legislation aimed at teaching peaceful solutions; Gina’s Team, for its work to ensure inmates basic life needs are met; Reentry and Preparedness, Inc.,  for its dedication to support and renew those who have been incarcerated and deliver them gently back into society; and finally Phoenix Nonviolence Truth Force, for its trainings in peaceful solutions to everyday problems.  According to United Teams for Restorative Justice, it is is an organization dedicated to helping any party having contact with any criminal justice agency. They help not only the defendants and the victims but their families as well.  The event was organized by the United Teams David DeLozier.

This morning, April 26, the Maricopa County Adult Probation Executive Management Team (EMT) held their monthly meeting in the gallery. The EMT consists of a Chief Probation Officer, three Deputy Chief PO’s and eleven Division Directors. The Maricopa Adult Probation has about 1,100 employees and is responsible for supervising a monthly average of 58,264 probationers. The EMT meets monthly to focus on the strategic plan, managing for results and departmental goals in order to ensure that the departmental mission is realized. The meeting was organized by Therese Wagner as part of the Open Bookings.

And tonight we host the event “Incarceration and the Mentally Ill: Punitive or Restorative Justice?,” a formal dialogue with approximately twenty participants discussing the care and treatment of those with mental illness as their lives intersect with the criminal justice system. The goal is to bring together individuals with diverse perspectives and experiences, from the advocates for increasing rehabilitation of mentally ill offenders to those who feel the criminal justice system in place in Arizona is working well. The event is organized and managed by Mary Lou Brnick of the non-profit organization David’s Hope, with support from the Office of Individual and Family Affairs at the Arizona Department of Behavior Health Services and the Arizona Mental Health and Criminal Justice Coalition. The public is invited to observe the dialogue and participate during Q & A.

But it has been the past few days that have provided some amazing reconnections…

Last Friday a Cub Scout group visited the space. The scout leader, an Eagle Scout in ranking, was in the space sharing insights with his scouts. He encouraged them to express themselves artistically on the public wall as he spoke to them about the topics of the overall project. As he completed his conversation with the boys and allowed them time to draw, I approached and thanked him for his thoughtfulness toward the project and for sharing that thoughtfulness with his troop. It turns out their scout leader has a connection with the Museum; he toured the location many times and had been involved with educational outreach programs as a student at McClintock High School in Tempe.  He expressed how those experiences truly influenced his life and how he is so pleased to be able to share those similar experiences with his young troop.

On Monday our students from Adobe Mountain and Black Canyon reconnected with us for their second visit. It was so wonderful to see their smiling faces once again and hear of their eagerness to get started for another day of activities. Gregory began the day with a little presentation on the history of stripes, all through small black and white drawings.  He started with an image from “a mural in Italy painted around 1340 of three young women in stripes condemned to prostitution saved by Saint Nicolas,” shifted to image of Holocaust uniforms, then images of stripes as portrayed in the media and pop culture, shared the Razzle Dazzle camouflage used on ships during World War I, then the use of stripe in architecture, in patterning and finally examples of stripes used by contemporary artists. He talked about these historic stripes’ association with the current use of stripes in our community and within the exhibition, having the students consider their use and meaning more deeply.

Gregory then challenged the students to reconsider the stripes on the wall of his space. If they had the opportunity, how would they make adjustments to his vision? Each student was then invited to select an ASU student collaborator and express their vision through a painting workshop orchestrated on the floor of the gallery space. The results were fantastic, and each team had the opportunity to share their insight, creating a great dialogue with each other and the space of the Museum.

A walk across campus for lunch together at ASU’s Secret Garden provided the opportunity for a communal meal and insight from Heather Landes, Associate Dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and The Arts. Heather provided the students deeper knowledge of the opportunities available to them in the Arts and Design through ASU.   She talked about the application process and invited them all to join us as students at ASU upon the completion of their high school education.

After lunch our dynamo colleague, Elizabeth Johnson, Coordinator, Public Practice in the School of Dance, got the students moving. She worked with them collectively to get their bodies moving, first in basic movements then gradually building up to more choreographed series. The students broke off into groups and choreographed their own dances in relationship to the conversations of the day, then performed them for the other groups. We sat together and talked about the dances we had just observed and shared our overall impressions on the experiences. You could tell by the smiles and energy, it was extremely successful.

The students then loaded into their van and were shuttled off to the other side of campus to engage with School of Art Professor Angela Ellsworth’s intermedia performance art class. The student were greeted by the ASU students and given an overview of their studies. They talked about a current project they were developing and asked the high school students if they would assist. The project is titled “Cyborgs vs. Humans,” a parking lot tag style game that examines current culture and technologies. The rules for the activity were explained, and then everyone went to the parking lot for round one. The Cyborgs won round one in less than five minutes, then we all went back inside and debriefed. The information was gathered regarding successes and failure, differing options and possibilities. The game rules were adjusted and it was back to the parking lot for round two. Round two proved to be much more successful, a game lasting just over  10 minutes and exhausting everyone. At one point during the game, one of the high school students instructors turned to me and said, “It’s so good to see this kids get the opportunity to be kids,” and I would have to agree. It was good knowing that these students received a great day of activities and were probably going to get a great night’s sleep.

The students weren’t the only reconnection that happened on Monday. Mid-morning Erik, one of the original ALPHA program inmates who collaborated with Gregory to paint the stripes within the gallery, showed up at the Museum with his girlfriend, Lisa. Erik had been released, and it was so great to see him at the Museum in his own clothing. He toured Lisa through the space and shared the project and his experience with her, expressing the project’s intent as if he was leading a docent tour. He pointed out his contributions to the public wall as he reconnected with me, Gregory and Elizabeth Johnson, with whom he had performed a dance during his original visit. Before we knew it, Erik was down on one knee with a ring in his hand, proposing to Lisa, who immediately said YES!

Reconnecting is important, can be magical and is necessary at times in helping move forward in positive directions. I hope there are many more of these moments ahead!

-John Spiak, Curator

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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

April 27, 2011 at 12:06 am

You can’t move forward until you know where you are

The Social Studies initiative is guided by open process. Whether it was the fully democratic creative process driven by artist Jarbas Lopes, the opening of the decision making process allowed by artist Josh Greene, or exposing ourselves to the new state of the economy and housing crisis through the volunteer vampire and zombie actors trained and directed by artist Jillian Mcdonald, active participation has always been key to Social Studies success.

image credit: stephen gittins

Over the past couple of months, in preparation for Social Studies Project 6 with Gregory Sale, the artist and I have been visiting correctional institutions and organizations involved with all aspects of justice. We’ve been inside the Florence and Eyman State prisons, The Towers county jail complex, and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.  I’ve had the great fortune to meet with individuals involved with the GED education, Legacy and ALPHA programs inside the system. We’ve had members of their teams here in the museum, working on logistics planning to insure positive results. We’ve met with the leadership of Gina’s Team, an independent inmates’ needs organization; University of Arizona professor Richard Shelton regarding his Creative Writing Workshops at the Arizona State Prison; dancers and choreographers working with Journey Home and Girl Scouts Beyond Bars; and members of social justice and human rights organizations. I’ve met passionate people, working both inside and outside the system, involved with these programs, and heard from both facilitators and participant of their benefits.

image credit: john spiak

Gregory has orchestrated these visits, and, without his passion, openness, dedication and hard work, these connections would not be possible. This process has allowed us to have direct conversation with those involved in the programs from a different perspective: the instructors, the supervisors and the participants. We have met with them, explained what we were up to and the overall vision for the project. We’ve asked for volunteers, giving them all the details we possible could and providing them every opportunity to opt out if they did not feel comfortable.

image credit: john spiak

Working with Gregory has provided a unique opportunity. He is an artist of our very own community, one who has been actively involved in performance and social practice since the mid-90s, when he and I first met. As an artist and educator, he has been an active participant in the Social Studies series from the beginning, engaging his students with each visiting artist during their six-week residencies. With his background as a former charter arts high school teacher, a curator of education, an employee of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and currently an Assistant Professor of Intermedia at ASU’s School of Art, his connections to the community are established and strong. He is truly someone I trust and respect.

image credit: stephen gittins

image credit: stephen gittins

The fact that Gregory is a local artist has allowed the first opportunity in the Social Studies initiative to extend the residency from six weeks to three months.

As I stated in the title of this post, you can’t move forward until you know where you are, so this is where things start within the museum gallery structure with Social Studies Project 6.

image credit: stephen gittins

It’s not just black and white begins with the current state of corrections in the U.S. and Arizona, most specifically Maricopa County. We know it’s extremely complex, and when these issues are raised in public settings the discussion often becomes heated and passionate.  It comes from all directions, and we’ve heard it so many times, comments like, “You must not be tough on crime,” “You’re acting like a victim,” “They have been victimized,” “It’s an issue of public safety,” among many others. Each of us comes to the conversation with our own backgrounds, stereotypes, perceptions and prejudices. The messages get driven home to us through media and other sources, but so rarely are our own opinions based upon direct experience. The passions needs to be there, but with respect and knowledge. The respect for differing opinions, the respect for differing situations, the respect for the individual, the respect for one another as human beings, and the knowledge that comes from firsthand experience. It’s my opinion that conversations can only move forward when everyone is welcome at the table – those with different knowledge bases and from different backgrounds, with diverse experiences and insights.

image credit: john spiak

This past week we began the in-gallery activities of It’s not just black and white. We invited inmates from the Maricopa County Jails’ ALPHA Program to join us at the Museum. They worked as artistic collaborators with Gregory and his team of current and past students as part of the residency, all volunteering to participate in the project. Background checks were run by MSCO on all participants, and MCSO officers were present to insure public safety.

image credit: john spiak

The ALPHA is a re-entry and rehabilitation treatment program, designed to reduce crime, recidivism and substance abuse.

image credit: john spiak

We started the day with a brief introduction and again, explained that if there were any components of the project anyone was not comfortable with, there was no obligation or pressure to participate. We took everyone together on a museum tour. We shared works from the Re-Thinking the Faculty Exhibition being installed, our Americas Gallery permanent collection, and the FUNd exhibition. We talked about the complex works of Jon Haddock, artists from CUBA, Deborah Butterfield and the art and society focus of our institution. We returned to the gallery and took coffee and soda orders from all present, then got to work. When the drinks arrived, we distributed them, but the work continued. We took a break for lunch, sitting together to enjoy a meal and continued getting to know one another, talking honestly and openly.

image credit: john spiak

As you can see from the images posted (and slideshow below), it was a day of activity, conversation and building relationships – group discussions, one-on-one opportunities, introducing collaborators to members of our community who are part of Gregory’s advisory committee.

image credit: john spiak

The week started at the current state of corrections, but quickly moved into the building of relationships, open dialogue and direct experiences. Through participation, continued open dialogue, performances, lectures, panels, tours and artistic gestures scheduled over the coming months, it is my hope that these conversations and experiences will continue to move forward in positive directions and with positive outcomes.

image credit: john spiak

As It’s not just black and white moves forward, you will continue to see activities taking place in the gallery and throughout the community, both scheduled and improvised, that build upon this conversation. Gregory’s official website for the project will go live this week, so I will make sure to post a link on our blog when it’s ready.  He’ll be posting schedules, tour sign-ups, images and much more, as we will continue to do as well on our own blog, website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

image credit: john spiak

Everyone is welcome at the table, so I strongly encourage you to visit the gallery at several different times during the course of the three-month residency, to get a sense of the project as a whole. The outcome of the project depends on your involvement and your input.  A good place to start is by attending the ASU Art Museum Season Opening Reception which takes place this Friday, February 18 from 7-9pm – it’s free for everyone!

image credit: stephen gittins

I look forward to your participation, insight and knowledge moving Social Studies and issues of our community forward!

– John Spiak, Curator

It’s not just black and white is supported a grant from
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

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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

February 15, 2011 at 4:36 am 18 comments

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