November 14, 2017

Site, Language, Collectivity interdisciplinary initiatives

Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston

Rick Lowe, Victoria Square Project (2017-18). Social sculpture at Documenta 14, Athens. Courtesy the artist.

The Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts announces new interdisciplinary projects led by renowned faculty, visiting artists, and emerging scholars in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center Postgraduate Fellowship and Project Row Houses-College of the Arts Fellowship programs.

Community Engaged Art: Rick Lowe, School of Art
This project focuses on the emerging fields of social and community engaged art, creative placemaking, social practice, community art, and other related modes of work that seek to bridge art with community development. The project is equal parts theoretical and practical fieldwork, and investigates social and community engaged artists, projects, and organizations. An emphasis is placed on exploring how art functions in the context of community development and social structures, and in relation to questions of value in our society.

You Are Here: Space and Place: Dana Kroos, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Fellow in Creative Writing
While “space” can be defined as the physical parameters of a geographic location, “place” is defined as an area that is used for a specific purpose so that it is endowed with meaning for a person or group. In the last two decades the concept of space vs. place has been widely researched in literature, social science, political science, environmental science, art, architecture, and design. Many social and political issues that arise in consideration of space vs. place have become central to studies in the arts: nationalism, imperialism, colonialism, cultural globalization, gender and sexuality, urbanization, digital cultures, and environmentalism. This project focuses on storytelling and fiction writing and questions how space and place are defined in literature, music, visual art, performance and exhibition design. With guest faculty Peter Turchi and Martha Serpas.

Spatial Politics: Houston: Jasleen Sarai, College of Architecture
This project explores the relationship between spatiality and politics using Houston as the site of research. This project examines the urban, industrial, rural and suburban spaces that Houston is made of to study relationships between people and space, politics and neighborhoods, and effects created by inequalities that are manifested in geographical settings at various scales. Topics also include land development, preservation, gentrification, public vs. private space, race and culture within neighborhoods. Special focus is put on site-specificity and artistic interventions. With Project Row House-College of the Arts Fellows Carrie Schneider and Carol Zou.

Text in the Landscape: Fiona McGettigan, School of Art
Words and texts are visual—the word as form becomes a signifier or a sign where meaning is exposed. The physicality of the text and its relationship to the context—the site, or place in the landscape—cannot go unnoticed. This project looks at text-based works from public art and environmental graphic design. Topics include typographic form and history, issues of typographic scale, dimensionality, materials, language, meaning, and context. Participants create a series of projects that present work in the environment and from the environment that reflect individual exploration and research. These works will be in the form of presentations, proposals and model form, as well as temporary site installations.

Collective Creation: Justin Lucero, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Fellow in Theatre, and Matt Chapman, School of Theatre & Dance
This project explores the practices of collective creation as articulated by various international groups including Brecht’s Epic Theatre, Colombia’s La Candelaria and Teatro Experimental de Cali, Perú’s the Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani, the United States’ Teatro Campesino and Culture Clash among others, to explore notions of diversity, belonging, equity, and community, culminating in a performance that addresses contemporary issues such as immigration, nationality, race, and the American Dream. With visiting artists Alhena Katsof and Pauline Boudry.

For more information on these projects contact Abinadi Meza, Director of Interdisciplinary Initiatives: ameza [​at​]

The Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts is accepting applications for graduate study in Art, Music, Theatre & Dance, and Arts Leadership. Apply online, priority deadlines begin December 1 and vary by program.

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