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July 19, 2017

Martine Syms and Cauleen Smith to Join CalArts Faculty

VALENCIA, CALIFORNIA—California Institute of the Arts School of Art dean Thomas Lawson announced that artists Martine Syms and Cauleen Smith will join the faculty of the Program in Art in September and January 2018, respectively, reports Christina Cox of The Signal. This marks the third consecutive year the California Institute of the Arts has added to its School of Art faculty.

In a statement, Lawson said, “The Art School is going through a period of change and growth. Increasing numbers of our students are considering collaborative ways of working, which can be a challenge for a program like ours that puts so much focus on the individual” and that Syms and Smith will guide students in the “aesthetic, social, and intellectual contexts that inform artmaking in today’s globalized environment.”

Both artists work across multiple disciplines, from filmmaking to publishing, and engage with themes of identity, visibility, and black womanhood. “Martine very much represents the new generation, the post-digital generation. Thoroughly at ease in the world of social media, she uses her technical savvy to create new means and new forms,” Lawson said. “Cauleen has an interestingly hybrid practice; she was trained as a filmmaker, but has found that her non-narrative films generate more interest and support in the art context. As a result, she has incorporated an ever-widening repertoire into her work, including drawing, banner-making, and performance.”

Syms received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007 and has lectured at the Yale University School of Art, the University of Chicago, and Johns Hopkins University. Smith has previously held faculty positions at the University of Texas at Austin, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the University of California, San Diego.

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