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Announcement
October 14, 2016

Integrated Arts Research Initiative hosts inaugural colloquium

Spencer Museum of Art at The University of Kansas
Rohini Devasher, Bloodlines, 2009. Inkjet print mounted on aluminum. Museum purchase: Helen Foresman Spencer Art Acquisition Fund, 2010.0066.01.a.

The Spencer Museum of Art will host an inaugural colloquium for its recently launched Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI) on October 18. Colloquium participants will discuss the goals of the Integrated Arts Research Initiative, learn about similar undertakings at peer institutions, and explore opportunities for future collaborative projects with the Spencer Museum. The public is invited to the colloquium’s keynote lecture by Peggy Levitt at 7pm at the Museum.

Levitt serves as chair and professor of Sociology at Wellesley College and Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Her lecture will explore how modern museums make sense of immigration and globalization, which is also the subject of her book Artifacts and Allegiances: How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display.

“Dr. Levitt’s discussion of her research into museums in Europe, the United States, Asia, and the Middle East reveals the sea change underway in the museum world,” said Spencer Museum Director of Academic Programs Celka Straughn. “Her interdisciplinary approach to research aligns with the goals of the Spencer’s Integrated Arts Research Initiative.”

This new initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aims to stimulate interdisciplinary collaborative projects that integrate ideas and approaches embodied in the arts. The Spencer Museum has created a full-time staff position to coordinate and advance the Museum’s efforts to integrate art into research endeavors.

In January 2017, Joey Orr will begin his tenure as Assistant Curator for Research at the Spencer Museum. Dr. Orr’s practice explores the boundaries between research and creative production and his collaborative projects have focused on public intervention, queer memory, and archival practices. He holds an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a PhD from Emory University.

“I am thrilled to join the team at the Spencer Museum of Art in realizing a bold and timely vision for how art and knowledge production can advance research across the sciences and humanities,” Orr said. “Although research has influenced visual art on many levels for decades, recent trajectories in contemporary art are directly engaging a wide spectrum of academic, social, and political thought.”

As part of IARI’s mission to fuel interdisciplinary artistic research, the Spencer hosts fellows each semester and visiting scholars and creative specialists annually. IARI fellows have included University of Kansas students and faculty from disciplines such as music, computer science, and poetry. The first faculty fellowship, held by Associate Professor Forrest Pierce, resulted in a vocal composition that will premiere October 15 as part of the Museum’s Reopening Weekend after completing a major renovation.

The fall 2016 faculty fellow is Assistant Professor of English Megan Kaminski, whose current project explores the ways we shape and are shaped by place, architectures, and systems, as well as our interactions with plants and animals. Her work contributes to investigations by Spencer Museum Curator Stephen Goddard for the upcoming exhibition Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World. IARI’s first creative specialist will be Park Jaeyoung, whose artistic practice influences Spencer Museum Curator Kris Ercums’s examination of time and history in contemporary Asian art, which will be presented in the exhibition Temporal Turn: Art and Speculation in Contemporary Asia, opening November 10.

 

Spencer Museum of Art’s Integrated Arts Research Initiative hosts inaugural colloquium

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