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Art museum reflects new values

August 10, 2007

The ASU Art Museum has announced three new initiatives – Global Arizona, InterLab and Moving Targets – that underscore the Museum’s vision to serve as a laboratory for thinking about and enjoying art in innovative ways.

The museum, already a leader among university art museums for its exhibitions, is building on its reputation for innovation and engagement of issues important to our time and to a broad public.

“In just the last year, ASU Art Museum has documented more than a 40 percent increase in attendance,” says Marilyn Zeitlin, director and chief curator of the ASU Art Museum. “We cannot stop here. Changing social values are creating new challenges and opportunities for the art world. We welcome community participation as we define the museum of the future, serving the field at the highest level of quality and presenting art that makes a difference in all our lives.”

The ASU Art Museum’s overarching mission is to explore the interaction between art and society. It will pursue this mission through the three programmed initiatives.

The museum’s new initiatives are:

• Global Arizona – This addresses the international scope of Phoenix, carrying the fastest-growing metropolitan area to the global level. The museum’s partnerships in Cuba, Brazil and Argentina are a priority, recognizing that our communities are more connected each day – and that we can learn from other perspectives.

Global Arizona will bring international exhibitions to Phoenix and carry the global issues that are exemplified in Phoenix to the international art world. As part of Global Arizona, Social Studies is an artist residency program that will turn an ASU Art Museum gallery into a workshop-studio for the visiting artist. The gallery floors will be protected by cardboard, tools, equipment and art supplies, and a few works will be in the space when the residency begins. The space will be open not only to allow audiences to view the artist at work but to invite artists, art students, faculty, children and all visitors to question the artists and collaborate to whatever degree they wish.

Community engagement, one of the most important ASU commitments, will take the work and the artist beyond the museum to whatever location and context the process leads. The first annual Social Studies project will open this fall with Jarbas Lopes from Brazil.

• Moving Targets – This presents the role of new media in the arts – an area in which the ASU Art Museum has a long history. The museum presented the first media project at the U.S. pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 1995 with the work of Bill Viola.

The museum also has supported emerging artists and panoply of critically acclaimed practitioners of new genres, including Pipilotti Rist, William Kentridge, Shirin Neshat, Jim Campbell and Francesc Torres. This initiative will expand into new territory, not only through presentation of works in new media, but in new systems for delivery of information to the museum’s audiences.

• InterLab – This is a transdisciplinary program that spans the entire university, inviting faculty and graduate students to collaborate to bring multiple points of view to an idea that is expressed through works of art shown in the context of other materials from various intellectual fields. The program explores the ways in which a variety of ways of thinking can engage in dynamic dialogue to create new ways of seeing and thinking.

For more information about the museum, visit the Web site