October 23, 2013

McElheny named inaugural Teiger Mentor in the Arts

Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP)
© William Staffeld / Cornell University.

Sculptor, performance artist, writer, and filmmaker Josiah McElheny is Cornell’s first Teiger Mentor in the Arts and will be making multi-day visits to campus throughout the fall semester.

During his first trip in early October, McElheny’s busy three days included a public lecture, one-on-one crits and informal sessions with B.F.A. and M.F.A. students, and meetings with art department faculty.

McElheny, who is based in New York City, is known for his use of glass with other materials. He received a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Award” in 2006. His work was the subject of two major survey exhibitions in 2012 and 2013, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. He is widely published, including writing for Artforum and Cabinet magazines, and is a contributing editor at Bomb Magazine.

The newly established Teiger Mentor in the Arts Program will continue to bring a series of internationally acclaimed artists to Cornell over the next three years to make ongoing visits to studio and seminar classes and conduct individual critiques with M.F.A. students. The spring 2014 artist will be announced in November.

Mentor artists are selected by a four-member jury, composed of two members of the art department—Associate Professor and Chair Iftikhar Dadi and Assistant Professor Carl Ostendarp—and two external curators and art educators—Tom Eccles, executive director of Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies, and Yasmil Raymond, curator of the Dia Art Foundation.

The program aspires to give undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to make connections with and learn from a diverse range of leading professional artists. The program “fills a need that’s been felt for a long time,” says Dadi. “Through this, our students are informed firsthand about artistic practice at the highest level. It will be a formative experience for students who will have intensive, intimate engagement with some of the world’s foremost artists. The art department is at the center, but the program also helps the college and the university at large by creating greater exposure for the visual arts.”

The Teiger Mentor in the Arts Program was created with a gift from David Teiger ’51, a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration. A management consultant who lives in Bernardsville, New Jersey, Teiger is a contemporary art collector and patron of curatorial projects and exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe.

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