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Announcement
September 14, 2022

Fall art updates

Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP)

Christine McDonald, Boneyard Concert, 2022. Installation with original musical and visual score, Olive Tjaden Gallery, Ithaca, New York.

According to Art Professor and Chair Paul Ramírez Jonas, this fall begins a "very new" academic year for the Department of Art at Cornell's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP).

Following a college-wide initiative focused on bringing "social justice and radical collaboration to the forefront of the AAP's efforts to build a more sustainable, just, and thriving world for all," the Department of Art welcomes four new full-time faculty including Jen Delos Reyes, Associate Professor and AAP Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity; Professor Keith Obadike; and Assistant Professors, Oasa DuVerney and Oscar Cornejo.

These new faculty, as well as three new visiting critics: Dionis Ortiz, Grace Troxell, and Paulina Velazquez Solis, join continuing art faculty who together represent the myriad "different ways of being artists in the world," says Ramírez Jonas.

The fall 2022 Teiger Mentor in the Arts is Emilio Rojas. The Teiger Mentor is selected each semester and brings internationally acclaimed artists to Cornell for regular studio visits and close instruction and guidance. Now in its ninth year, the program gives art students opportunities to make new connections and learn from a range of leading practicing artists. Rojas will also teach one of the first performance-focused undergraduate classes both this semester and next, and present an artist talk titled GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM! this October.

The powerful roster of fall lectures also includes artists Hugh Hayden, Marie Lorenz, Lucy Kim, Lizania Cruz, and Lisa Corinne Davis. Guest speakers are invited for studio visits with students in the MFA program and this semester's lineup promises an impressive breadth of perspective for graduate students as they build and expand upon their creative studio practices.

Assistant Professor Leeza Meksin begins her appointment as the Director of Graduate Studies this year. She leads the MFA in Studio Art program with an understanding of art practice and pedagogy as an endeavor in "rethinking what art making can be." Beyond adding new course offerings and programming around "collaboration and interconnectedness" this semester, Meksin emphasizes the importance of openness in all aspects of the graduate program that provides a "rigorous, supportive, and inclusive environment where all ideas are met with respect and all forms of critical and creative practices are encouraged."

As the department continues to expand with new faculty and new areas of expertise, interest, and practice, so do resources and facilities. By next year, the MFA cohort will find themselves in a completely renovated facility—familiarly known as The Foundry—with updated individual studios and critique and gathering spaces, all adjacent to the department's new sculpture studio. Additionally, new off-campus faculty studios are currently under construction in downtown Ithaca, and select spaces in the department's Olive Tjaden Hall will be updated for graduating thesis students.

Also this fall—beyond the new and veering into the experimental—will be the first-ever Art Department Jubilee. This two-day series of workshops is open to all art students, allowing them to attend any class they wish, connect with different faculty and classmates, and expand their practice in a multitude of ways.

At Cornell's Department of Art, this new year and semester is about intentional growth and building community around the exchange of ideas across mediums and modes of practice and pedagogies. The department's near and distant future begins now with the collective understanding that, as Ramírez Jonas reminds: "There is no one way to be an artist."

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