ASU art exhibits explore cultural identity

April 25, 2008

ASU’s Museum of Anthropology is featuring two new concurrent exhibits – “Mosaic: Cultural Identity in America” and “Fuse: Portraits of Refugee Households in Metropolitan Phoenix.”

Through the artwork of local artist Eliza Gregory and selected student artists, these exhibits explore questions of identity and cultural experience in the largest urban center in the Southwest. Although the exhibits focus on two distinct topics, their approaches and themes complement each other, with both exploring contemporary regional, social and political relationships. Download Full Image

In “Mosaic: Cultural Identity in America,” jury-selected student artists explore questions of national identity. Sarah Elsasser, the guest curator and a student in Barrett, the Honors College, has asked students to express, through a variety of artistic media, how they understand and identify with being American. “Mosaic” contextualizes American identity as a diverse and changing ascription, based on ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation. This exhibit presents positive and negative takes on American culture and invites visitors to engage emotionally with the artwork.

“Fuse” is a portrait exhibit of the complex worlds of resettled refugees in the Phoenix metropolitan area. It fosters critical thinking on who refugees are and how, through sharing experiences, the Valley community can seek common ground. The photographs validate the struggles and triumphs of these families, portraying them in a way that fosters a deeper sense of belonging in the community.

The exhibition was developed in collaboration with Community Outreach & Advocacy for Refugees (COAR), a youth-led nonprofit organization based in Tempe that works with refugees and local artist Eliza Gregory, a member of the eye lounge artist cooperative on Roosevelt Row.

The exhibits are on display through Oct. 3. The Museum of Anthropology is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. when school is in session. An artist panel discussion will be held at noon, April 29, in the Museum of Anthropology in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change building.
For more information about the exhibits and upcoming events, contact the museum at (480) 965-6224 or visit the Web site">">

Lisa Robbins

Editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Design student places first in National PSAid Competition

April 25, 2008

The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) announced that Visual Communication Design junior Joseph Clay was chosen as this year’s First Place winner in the Print category for PSAid: Public Service Announcements for International Disasters. Clay was awarded $6,000 for his efforts.

The competition asked student filmmakers and graphic designers to create broadcast and print PSAs demonstrating the importance of monetary donations rather than in-kind donations in response to international disasters.

Clay’s entry—“Donation Facts”—uses the template of a nutritional ingredients label to tell the “facts” about disaster-relief giving. The entry was punctuated by photographs of needy children framing the “label.” The first place winner’s entry may have his PSA distributed nationally to newspapers and magazines.

“I am delighted and proud of Joe,” says Mookesh Patel, chair of the Department of Visual Communication Design. “He is a wonderful sensitive designer, and I believe he deserves the award. I would also like to thank every one at CIDI and USAID for organizing this wonderful award program. The department is committed to explore relevant, inspirational, and appropriate communication messages for the community at large. This program provides the perfect opportunity for all our students to learn through this project. We plan to integrate PSAid contest in our curriculum again next spring.”

The entries from students across the country were reduced to five finalists per category, which were chosen by public vote through the website. The winning PSAs will be used to educate the public about appropriate donation response during international disasters.

“Cash does not clog supply channels like in-kind donations, cash is always socially appropriate, and cash can be used to buy the exact items needed in a disaster area while also giving the local economy a much needed boost,” Kate Houston, media contact for CIDI explained in a press statement.

For more information about the students competition, see">"> website.  Download Full Image

Julie Russ

Assistant director, Institute of Human Origins