February 28, 2013

It Takes a Village to Make Bad Art

University of Guelph
Dave Hickey. Photo by Bill Wittliff.

Dave Hickey will talk about the downside of economies of scale in art practice and art education in the age of global art and the digital global village. He will explain why bigger isn’t necessarily better.

Dave Hickey is a freelance writer of fiction and cultural criticism. He has recently retired as Professor of Practice at the University of New Mexico.  

Hickey has published a volume of short fiction, Prior Convictions, SMU Press, 1982; The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty, Art Issue Press, 1993; The Invisible Dragon: Revised and Expanded, University of Chicago Press, 2008; Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy, Art Issues Press, 1998, selected as one of the most important books of the century in 2009 by Newsweek magazine; Stardumb, Artspace Press, 1999, about artist John DeFazio; and Hot Stuff: Essays on the Art of Women Artists, University of Chicago Press, 2012. Future works include Connoisseur of Waves: More Essays on Art and Democracy, a sequel to Air Guitar in preparation by the University of Chicago Press to be released in 2013; Pagan America, forthcoming from Free Press in 2013; Pirates and Farmers: Essays on Culture and the Marketplace, Karsten Schubert, London, to follow publication of Pagan America; Feint of Heart: Essays of Individual Artists in two volumes in preparation at Chicago Press.

Hickey has also written 300+ exhibition catalogue monographs on contemporary artists, organized many exhibitions, lectured extensively at universities and institutions in America and abroad and received associated unsolicited grants and fellowships including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for 2002–2007.  

The annual Shenkman Lecture was established in 2007 through an endowment by Dasha Shenkman, a Canadian art collector who lives in the United Kingdom.

Please also plan to join us for the
MFA Open Studios before or after the lecture:
3–5pm and 7–9pm
Blackwood Hall, Firehall, Alexander Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario

The MFA students in the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph are pleased to welcome the public to their annual Open Studios, offering a rare inside look at the development of new work within the hothouse environment of an art program and a chance to chat with artists about their work in progress.

Open Studios 2013 features work by graduate candidates Jen Aitken, Laura Anderson, Maryanne Casasanta, Jennifer Carvalho, Stephanie Cormier, Rachel Crummey, Laura Findlay, Denise Higginson, Aryen Hoekstra, Benjamin Klein, Amy Lockhart, Jenine Marsh, Ella Dawn McGeough, Matt Schust, and Dustin Wilson.

Press contact:
Sandra Sabatini Ph.D., [email protected] / T 519 824 4120 x53869
Ella Dawn McGeough, Graduate Open Studios Student Coordinator, [email protected]
Susan Dobson, Faculty Coordinator, [email protected] / T 519 824 4120 x56112

A free bus will leave Mercer Union (1286 Bloor Street West) in Toronto at 2:30pm and leave Guelph to return to Toronto at 9pm. Email [email protected] to reserve a spot.

A free shuttle service between Open Studio buildings is available between 3 and 5pm and again between 7 and 9pm. Volunteers will provide directions and guided tours.

For more information on both events, visit




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