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Basler Chairholder Mary Jane Jacob to speak on 'Place and Its Publics'

Mary Jane Jacob

JOHNSON CITY (Oct. 18, 2013) – “Place and Its Publics” will be addressed in a free public lecture by artist Mary Jane Jacob at East Tennessee State University on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Ball Hall Auditorium.

Jacob is the 2013-14 chairholder of ETSU’s Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric and Science.  Her lecture is co-sponsored by the ETSU College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Art and Design.

In her talk, Jacob will deal with the relationship between community and “place” in the conception of works of contemporary art, ranging from site-specific to socially engaged projects. 

Drawing upon her own work, she will also speak about the curator’s relationship to artists and audiences.  The goal of this relationship, she says, is to “nurture not only creative spaces for art-making but also the community’s experience of art.”

Jacob is a curator who has worked with artists to expand the practice and public discourse about art as a shared process.  She has done this by developing hundreds of exhibitions, site-specific and community-based projects and public programs.  Her study of the nature of the art experience has led her to co-edit the anthologies “Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art,” “Learning Mind: Experience into Art” and “Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society.”

Jacob is a professor and executive director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where she is currently spearheading a major research project on Chicago social practice.  This project is funded by a $50,000 fellowship she was awarded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts – the first Warhol Foundation grant received by the SAIC since 1995 and the largest that the school has ever been given by the organization.

Her Oct. 22 lecture is the first of four that Jacob will deliver at ETSU as the Basler Chairholder.  The second will be held Dec. 4, and the remaining talks will be given during the spring semester, when she will be in residence at ETSU to teach “The Art of Living,” which will be offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Department of Art and Design.

Created in 1994, the Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric and Science is named in honor of a longtime member of the ETSU Foundation who is a strong advocate of programs at the university.  Basler has a deep commitment to the liberal arts, which was instilled in him by his mother, who taught music, and his father, who taught industrial arts. 

Through Basler’s generosity, the Chair of Excellence brings a variety of scholars to the community to broaden opportunities for students and the general public in the arts, humanities and science.  The chair is intended to show the unity of knowledge, to bridge gaps among disciplines, and to help university students, faculty and staff, as well as students and teachers in public schools and the general public, to move beyond the narrow focus of a single discipline or vision.

For more information, call the Department of Art and Design at (423) 439-4247.  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.