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Announcement
February 21, 2014

Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism

Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
Photo: Lenore Seroka.

The Center for Curatorial Studies and the Human Rights Project at Bard College are pleased to announce the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism. Made possible through a five-year grant, the Keith Haring Fellowship is a cross-disciplinary, annual, visiting fellowship for a scholar, activist, or artist to teach and conduct research at both the Center for Curatorial Studies and the Human Rights Project at Bard College.

The fellowship will bring a distinguished leader in the field to Bard to investigate the role of art as a catalyst for social change, linking the two programs and presenting original research in an annual lecture. The Keith Haring Lecture in Art and Activism will be delivered annually at Bard College and will be published and widely distributed among universities and colleges internationally.

“This joint program,” says CCS Bard graduate program director Paul O’Neill, “expands our commitment to investigating the political dimensions of artistic practice and how art can be a productive force for social change.”

Thomas Keenan, director of Bard’s Human Rights Project, noted that the fellowship offered “an innovative platform to explore a question basic to Keith Haring’s legacy: how can art and artists play a real role in creating a more just society?”

Julia Gruen, executive director of the Keith Haring Foundation states, “we are honored to establish this dynamic fellowship at Bard College in Keith Haring’s name. The artist as activist was a role integral to Haring’s own vision, identity and practice, and we are confident that a fellowship dedicated to this approach can produce illuminating opportunities for discourse and scholarship.”

The Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism is an appropriate tribute to the life and work of Keith Haring, whose contributions to the visual arts and to human rights activism cannot be separated. Just as his playful and sometimes controversial work injected political questions about HIV/AIDS and gay identity into a generally complacent art world, so his activism helped mainstream advocacy organizations understand the AIDS crisis as a broad human rights issue rather than the problem of a specific community. It is this complicated engagement between human rights and the arts that the two Bard programs seek to honor—and to emulate—in the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism.

For more information, click here.

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