Greg Esser, Downtown Phoenix arts advocate, to head up the Desert Initiative at the ASU Art Museum
The ASU Art Museum is pleased to announce that Greg Esser has been appointed associate director for the Desert Initiative, a project supporting independent and collaborative research into desert cultures and environments through the arts and sciences.
Housed at the ASU Art Museum, the Desert Initiative is composed of a network of arts institutions throughout the Southwestern United States and in other global desert regions with a vested and active interest in the desert as a point of creative investigation. The goal of the Desert Initiative is to produce distinct new, interdisciplinary explorations of the desert for local, regional, and international audiences and engage diversified, non-traditional arts audiences in consideration of desert cultures.
“Greg Esser is the perfect person to make sense of, and make real, our collective goals and ideas,” says ASU Art Museum Director Gordon Knox, noting Esser’s “familiarity with the region, extraordinary production experience with large-scale projects and his deep links to the desert.”
The Desert Initiative combines Esser's passion for artistic creation and inquiry with his deep interest in arid land issues, policy and research. He has lived, worked and studied in desert regions internationally including the Sinai, Negev, Sahara and sub-Saharan Africa in addition to the American Southwest. He is a graduate of Arizona State University with an MFA in Intermedia and completed his undergraduate study at Oberlin College with a degree in Art and Social Change.
Prior to joining ASU, Esser was the founding director of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation in downtown Phoenix, a non-profit organization focused on community revitalization through arts and culture. Esser has also served as director for three of the largest public art agencies in the United States, namely Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles County. He worked in public art at the national level as manager of the Public Art Network for Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C.
“I am tremendously excited by the potential of the Desert Initiative to bring forth a new oasis of learning and mutual understanding,” says Esser. “I look forward to working with partners both within Arizona State University as well as others regionally and internationally to begin to realize that potential.”
The ASU Art Museum, named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America, is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. The museum is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street in Tempe and admission is free. Hours are 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Tuesdays (during the academic year), 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and closed on Sundays and Mondays. To learn more about the museum, call 480.965.2787 or visit http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu or http://asuartmuseum.wordpress.com.
Deborah Sussman Susser
Deborah Sussman Susser