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New library collections feature one of ASU's first Black professors

January 17, 2022 - 9:18pm
While sorting through photos in the J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. Papers, one of many collections in the backlogs at ASU Library , Associate Archivist Elizabeth Dunham often joked that Grigsby was “a total dad.” A teacher and an artist, he traveled often to national conferences and took pictures of everything that caught his eye along the way, from random buildings “right down to the pictures out the plane window,” Dunham said with a laugh. Grigsby’s penchant for documentation may have been considered a charming character quirk during his lifetime, but today, it’s the reason ASU Library is able to offer a unique glimpse into the life of one of Arizona State University’s first Black professors in the fine arts department. And it’s a long time coming for members of Arizona’s Black community, said Jessica Salow , who was recently named archivist of Black Collections at ASU Library, a new role...
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Do species really 'invade'?

December 30, 2021 - 4:30am
About two weeks ago, The Guardian newspaper reported on the booming armadillo population in North Carolina. The first armadillo showed up in 2007, but since 2019 their numbers have skyrocketed. It’s suspected that climate change is the culprit; armadillos don’t like cold, and North Carolina hasn’t seen a bitter winter in a while. It’s news because it’s unusual, but what was not unusual was the language employed: “besieged,” “relentless march,” “nemesis” and “hunting aliens.” Invasion biology — the study of the harm done to ecosystems by species introduced outside their native habitats — got its start in the mid-1980s among an international group of ecologists studying Mediterranean ecosystems, which occur on every temperate continent. But some attitudes are changing in science. Arizona State University’s Matt Chew has co-authored several papers on the subject. Scientific American called him the “gadfly of invasion biology.” He is quoted in the New York Times...
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From drones to water tastings to sonic art, ASU creatives take part in 2021 Canal Convergence

December 13, 2021 - 7:08pm
Each year the city of Scottsdale lights up for a two-weekend-long event by the waterfront, Canal Convergence, filled with community projects, live music, workshops and artist talks. Following the event’s perennial themes of Water + Art + Light, interactivity and sustainability, this year’s featured theme married the concepts of “Art and Technology,” with the goal of expanding the public’s understanding of technology’s role in artmaking and exploring the impact it has on society. Joining in this year’s Nov. 5–14 event were several Arizona State University research groups, faculty and students from the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, as well as alumni from the School of Art. The projects ranged in topic, from water tasting in enchanted spaces to augmented reality artworks based in imaginative futures. Each project was thoughtfully designed to prompt conversations about our futures and how we...
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ASU international ceramics graduate turns dream into reality

November 28, 2021 - 7:24pm
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2021 graduates . When Miru Kim made the decision to leave her home country of the Republic of Korea to study ceramics at Arizona State University, she didn’t realize how challenging the language barrier would be. “During the first year, I couldn't ask any questions I had,” she said. “There were things I wanted to say, but I couldn't talk deeply. So, I worked alone and that has become part of my work. It was difficult to make friends, but some of them came to me without prejudice. I think that enduring loneliness made me grow even more.” She said during the difficult times, she considered leaving Arizona. “I really wanted to go back to Korea,” she said, “however, I could not overturn that choice because it was my decision to study in the United States.”...
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Death and photography: Immortalizing memories through art

October 27, 2021 - 9:05pm
Día de los Muertos — or Day of the Dead — is a predominately Mexican holiday and is observed in various ways and under different names across the world. In recent years, it’s been depicted in mainstream media and adopted by diverse populations in different regions. Over the span of two days, every Nov. 1–2, families come together to remember and honor the deceased with a celebration that includes visiting gravesites, placing decorations, placing orange Mexican marigold flowers and leaving offerings, or ofrendas, such as food and drinks. This could also include placing memorabilia and photographs of the deceased as a remembrance. How do photographs keep a memory alive and does it help with loss? Ashley Czajkowski is a lecturer at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and teaches a special digital photography course – "Death and Photography" – through ASU Online . Driven by personal experience, her...
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ASU-LACMA fellowship program expands to include Pérez Art Museum of Miami

September 21, 2021 - 8:53pm
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts are pleased to announce that the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has joined as a new partner in the ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship in Art History . PAMM’s first fellow, Emily Valdes, joins what is now the third cohort of individuals in the program, along with five new fellows from LACMA. The ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship was founded in 2018 as a partnership between ASU and LACMA with the aim to culturally diversify the leadership of art museums in the United States. The three-year degree program combines rigorous academic training with on-the-job experience to develop a new generation of diverse curators, directors and other museum professionals, with the goal of investing in the existing pipeline of talent and accelerating the careers of individuals already working on museum staffs. The fellows earn their master’s...
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Students find beauty at intersection of art, science

August 12, 2021 - 5:00am
A group of Arizona State University students explored the intersection of art and science and found astounding beauty. In the “Art and Science” course, students work with faculty members in the School of Life Sciences and the Biodesign Institute . One of the assignments is to find an object that can viewed under an electron microscope, where the hyper-resolution produces extraordinary images. Then the students produce artworks inspired by their discoveries. The dramatic pieces created by the students who took the course during spring semester will be exhibited in the show “Sculpting Science,” which will run Aug. 19 to Aug. 28 at the Step Gallery, Grant Street Studios in Phoenix. “Art and Science,” offered every other year, is taught by Susan Beiner , a professor in the School of Art and internationally known ceramic artist , in collaboration with science faculty members, including Robby Roberson , an associate professor in...
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ASU professor explores questions of the sacred and the discarded

August 5, 2021 - 8:53pm
What is sacred? If something is sacred, can it be sold? These are the questions that Jacob Meders is asking in his exhibit titled “And It’s Built on the Sacred” at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Meders earned a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from the School of Art at Arizona State University and is an assistant professor in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at ASU’s West campus. He’s a member of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, California. He works in several media, primarily printmaking through his own fine-art printmaking press, WarBird Press . He also does weaving and painting. “And It’s Built on the Sacred,” in its own gallery at the museum, features four tall podiums with Christian religious figures inside glass domes. Meders found the objects in thrift stores and left the discount tags on them. These are surrounded by four...
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Stacking the deck for sustainability

July 20, 2021 - 2:47am
Scientists have been sounding the alarm on the climate crisis for nearly three decades, and we still face major challenges. A group of Arizona State University educators are reaching out to youth for solutions. “Scientists have warned us that the planet’s systems are dangerously close to irreversible tipping points. Children and youth are well aware that we live in environmentally precarious times and that they face an uncertain future,” said Iveta Silova , professor and director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College . “Yet, schools and universities continue to reproduce the hierarchical ‘man over nature’ relationships in an ongoing pursuit of economic growth.” She believes this requires a complete paradigm shift and that our very future survival depends on our capacity to make this shift. Which is why Silova is participating as a research director for a new ASU initiative...
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In praise of beautiful books: Hayden Library to display 'Kelmscott Chaucer'

May 24, 2021 - 3:34am
In what reads like a piece of advice from a 19th-century version of Marie Kondo, British textile designer William Morris once wrote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” An artist, poet and visual designer, Morris was devoted to beautiful things and created many in his lifetime. In 1891, he founded the Kelmscott Press out of a desire to return to an artistic craft that had faded during the Industrial Revolution: the finer production of books. The ASU Library holds all 53 titles printed by Kelmscott, including the 1896 publication of “The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: Now Newly Imprinted,” thought to be one of the most beautiful books ever printed, exemplifying Morris’ vision of the ideal book. Both the original and a facsimile of the "Kelmscott Chaucer," as it is known, will be on display, Friday, June 25, at...
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